Artem Anisimov
Artem Anisimov
31-Year-Old CenterC
Ottawa Senators
2019 Fantasy Outlook
After Chicago selected Kirby Dach with the third overall pick in this year's draft, the writing was on the wall for Anisimov in terms of his future with the organization. Less than a month after Dach's name was called in Vancouver, the Blackhawks traded Anisimov to the Senators in exchange for winger Zack Smith. That probably wasn't great news for the Russian pivot, but it could be good news for those considering snagging him in the later rounds of fantasy drafts this season, as he'll likely be taking on a significantly larger role in 2019-20 with an Ottawa team that's in the midst of a rebuild. Anisimov may be able to return to the 20-plus goal, 40-plus-point form he displayed with Chicago from 2015-17, which would make him a solid depth option in most fantasy formats. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $22.75 million contract extension with the Blackhawks in July 2015.
Traded to Ottawa
COttawa Senators
July 16, 2019
The Blackhawks traded Anisimov to the Senators in exchange for Zack Smith on Tuesday.
Both players involved in this deal are signed through 2020-21, but Anisimov carries a cap hit of $4.55 million on an annual basis, whereas Smith's cap hit is somewhat more reasonable at $3.25 million, so this appears to be a financially motivated move for Chicago, particularly when considering Anisimov has been significantly more productive than Smith over the past two seasons. The Russian pivot will likely slot into a middle-six role for the Senators in 2019-20, and should be able to put up 15-plus goals and at least 30 points for a fifth consecutive season.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Anisimov is coming off a slightly disappointing campaign, totaling just 31 points in 72 contests after racking up 45 points through 64 appearances in 2016-17, but he was able to hit the 20-goal mark for a third straight season. Additionally, the Blackhawks offense struggled as a whole last year, so it wouldn't be surprising to see the Russian pivot's point total rebound towards the 40-plus mark this time around. Anisimov's consistency as a 20-plus goal scorer is nothing to sneeze at, so if he's able to return to form by picking up at least 20 helpers in 2018-19, he'll be worth considering as a bench option in deeper fantasy leagues.
Anisimov had another solid season in 2016-17, grabbing 45 points (22 goals, 23 assists) in 64 games. The 29-year-old pivot almost assuredly would have broken through the 50-point threshold had he not missed 18 games due to injury, so if he’s able to stay relatively healthy in 2017-18, he presents legitimate 55-point upside. The 6-foot-4 Russian has, however, enjoyed the luxury of centering what was arguably the NHL’s most dangerous duo in Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin for the past two seasons -- a luxury he won't enjoy this campaign after Panarin was traded to the Blue Jackets in June. Having said that, he'll still be skating with one of the NHL’s most explosive scorers in Kane in 2017-18, and if one of the Blackhawks’ young forwards can step up to the plate and soften the loss of Panarin, Anisimov shouldn't have any trouble leaping over the 50-point hurdle, making him a valuable bench option in all fantasy formats.
The Blackhawks had been searching for a legitimate second-line center for years prior to last offseason when the team finally acquired one in Anisimov, who joined the 'Hawks as part of the trade that sent Brandon Saad to Columbus. The deal worked out wonderfully for Chicago, as it soon became apparent that Anisimov was the answer the team had been searching for for quite some time. The big-bodied forward slotted into the Blackhawks' lineup perfectly, centering Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin on Chicago's second line. Adding Anisimov and Panarin to the mix made the Blackhawks second line far and away its most productive unit in 2015-16, and helped Kane post the best stat line of his career. Anisimov was a consistent contributor on both ends of the ice for Chicago last season, tallying 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists) with a plus-8 rating over 77 games. The 28-year-old Russian can be expected to post similar numbers in 2016-17, making him a nice option for fantasy owners looking to round out their depth at forward in the later rounds of drafts. Anisimov underwent surgery to repair a right wrist injury in May, but is fully expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.
Anisimov is big and skilled, and after landing with the Stanley Cup champs this offseason, he could be the solution to the revolving door at center next to Patrick Kane. Kane, for one, should be thrilled, though criminal allegations against the slick winger change the landscape for Anisimov entering the season, at least in terms of output. Anisimov is still a solid second-line citizen who could bounce between the second and third lines as needed. He won't shoot enough or see enough time on the power play to notice a huge jump in his scoring totals, however, which may prevent Anisimov from beginning anything more than a secondary fantasy option at the deepest position on the ice.
Anisimov set a career high with 22 goals last season, but otherwise it was more of the same from the center who contributed 39 points in 81 games. The Blue Jackets are improving around him, but that's not necessarily a good thing for Anisimov's fantasy value, as he seems rooted on the third line and won't see much power play time. If the Jackets' next wave of kids, led by Alexander Wennberg, start to make a big push for playing time, Anisimov could easily find himself on the trading block, but for this season another 40-point campaign seems a fairly safe bet.
Concussion issues limited Anisimov to 35 games and 18 points in his first campaign with the Blue Jackets, but when he was on the ice Anisimov was the same maddeningly inconsistent player he was with the Rangers. He's got the skills on offense to be a difference-maker and knows his way around his own zone yet too often he fades into the background rather than imposing his will on the opposition. He did show a spark alongside Marian Gaborik after the sniper arrived in Columbus (which could help Anisimov maintain a higher level of play) but most likely he is headed for another 40-45 point season and the frustrating feeling that he's capable of better.
Anisimov seemed to stagnate in his third NHL campaign, managing just 16 goals and 36 points in 79 games. Sent to Columbus in the Rick Nash trade he'll now have a chance to earn a top-six placement and get his career moving forward again, but there are a couple of things working against a breakout. First, Anisimov's skill set is not unlike Derick Brassard's in that he's a slick playmaker who lacks a physical element to his game, and it's hard to see how they can both fit into significant roles on the Blue Jackets' roster. Anisimov is a solid defender with the ability to do fancy things on offense, but a general tendency to disappear for long stretches of time offensively. He has a ton of upside, and, only a few years ago, registered a 37-goal, 81-point season in the AHL at age 20. He could yet develop into a good sniper.
Anisimov took a noticeable step forward in his development last year, increasing from a 28-point (12 G, 16 A) rookie season in 2009-10, to 44 (18 G, 26 A) last year. Still, he had some lapses in consistent production. It's not uncommon for young Russian players to take a couple of years to acclimate themselves to the NHL and breakout in their third season, which bodes well for this Blueshirt as he prepares for 2011-12. Brad Richards' arrival also means no constant search for a No. 1 center in the Big Apple, so Anisimov should settle in between Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan, with whom he has thrived. Anisimov has already shown a willingness to do the dirty work and the intangibles it takes to play in the NHL. He's shown slow but steady development each year with the organization. If he continues to do that, there's reason to believe he'll break the 50-55 point mark, making him a solid No. 3 fantasy center this season.
Anisimov will look to build off a fairly quiet rookie year in which he tallied 12 goals and 16 assists playing in all 82 games for the Rangers. The 6-4 forward plays a solid two-way game, and at age 22, he appears to have a very bright future on Broadway. Anisimov was juggled throughout the lines last season and he has a bunch of centers in town to battle with this year, but it is likely that Arty will find himself centering the third line when the season opens. He possesses great skill, but definitely has to fill out his tall body and become a bit stronger on the puck. Anisimov is coming off right wrist surgery, but he is expected to be ready well before training camp in September. The soon-to-be second-year forward could be a decent fantasy pick in the very late rounds, but temper your expectations and hope for somewhere between 30 and 40 points.
Anisimov had a brief stint with the Rangers last year, but he figures to be a much bigger part of the puzzle this year for the Blueshirts. He'll compete for a spot this fall in camp, though he's not guaranteed a spot. He has the perfect size, speed, and talent combination that could make him a big-time fantasy asset in a number of years.
Anisimov has plenty of offensive ability, and could be a first or second line center for the Rangers in the future. If he is unable to make the team out of training camp, look for Anisimov to have a mid-season call up.
Anisimov is a good skater and has great vision on the ice. He's already shown that he is a very good playmaker and passer, but needs to bulk up in the weight room. He's a few seasons away, but the Rangers have had his eye on him for awhile -- if he impresses in training camp, the organization may have to make a tough decision here. In 2006-07, Anisimov played in 39 games with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the Russian Hockey League, tallying two goals and eight assists for 10 points, along with 26 penalty minutes.
Anisimov needs to add some weight and strength but projects to be a solid two-way forward with offensive potential who should center the second or third line in the future.
More Fantasy News
Garners assist
CChicago Blackhawks
March 30, 2019
Anisimov generated an assist and four shots in Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Kings.
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Plucks apple
CChicago Blackhawks
March 29, 2019
Anisimov collected an assist and two blocked shots while earning a plus-2 rating in Thursday's 5-4 win over the Sharks.
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Snaps goal drought
CChicago Blackhawks
March 24, 2019
Anisimov potted a power-play goal in Sunday's 2-1 overtime win against the Avalanche.
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Scores twice in high-scoring affair
CChicago Blackhawks
March 8, 2019
Anisimov scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season in Thursday's 5-4 shootout win over Buffalo.
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Buries shorthanded goal
CChicago Blackhawks
February 27, 2019
Anisimov's 11th goal of the year came down a man in a 4-3 win over the Ducks on Wednesday.
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