Artem 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.
Anisimov was "still a little limited" by the lower-body injury that had kept him out for the final 13 games of the regular season, per coach Joel Quenneville, but there are no immediate plans for offseason surgery to any of Chicago's players, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. At the moment, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman is fuming over his team getting swept by the Predators in the first playoff round. Anisimov was held without a point and skated to a minus-2 rating in the series, though he managed six shots, four hits and four blocked shots between those four games. Still, this doesn't at all sound like the type of injury that could carry over to the 2017-18 campaign.
Anisimov (leg) returned to practice Tuesday and will be ready for Game 1 against the Predators, Brian Hedger of NHL.com reports. Anisimov was able to practice for the first time since suffering a left leg injury on March 14, forcing him out of the final 13 regular-season contests. He is expected to return to his regular spot in between Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. Due to his important role on the power-play unit and the Blackhawks' positive outlook, Anisimov makes a nice addition for fantasy owners in postseason pools.
Coach Joel Quenneville told reporters Saturday he "has no doubt" that Anisimov will be ready for the playoffs, Eric Lear of Blackhawks TV reports. Anisimov will return to his role centering the dangerous duo of Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin on the Blackhawks' second line for Game 1 of the playoffs. The Russian pivot has been a solid contributor for Chicago in that role this season, notching 45 points (22 goals, 23 assists) in 64 games. Tanner Kero, who has been centering Kane and Panarin in Anisimov's absence, will likely move into a bottom-six role for Game 1.
Anisimov (lower body) has resumed skating, but he likely won't return to the lineup for any of the Blackhawks' final three regular-season games, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Blackhawks have secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, so there's no need to for them to rush Anisimov back for essentially meaningless contests. At this juncture, it's unclear whether the Russian pivot will be ready for Game 1 of the postseason, but Chicago should release another update on his status once he's able to return to practice.
Anisimov (lower body) should begin his on-ice rehab by beginning to skate Monday, Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago reports. Anisimov has missed each of the Blackhawks' last nine games due to the ailment and appears to be a likely candidate to miss the remainder of the regular season. However, Myers notes that Chicago still anticipates that the 28-year-old will be ready to return for the postseason.
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