Richard Panik had his best season as a pro in 2016-17, setting career highs in goals (22), assists (22), shots on goal (155) and hits (147) in 82 games while skating with Jonathan Toews on Chicago's top line. The Blackhawks rewarded the Slovakian winger for his career year by signing him to a two-year, $5.6 million contract extension in May, so the 26-year-old forward will return to his role on the first line in 2017-18, and he could assume a larger role on the power play after averaging 1:39 of ice time with the extra man a season ago. If Panik continues to take strides in his development as a two-way player this season, he should be able to crack the 50-point threshold with ease, which would lock him in as a desirable bench option with starter upside in most fantasy formats.
Panik signed a two-year contract extension with the Blackhawks on Thursday. According to CapFriendly, the deal is worth $5.6 million. This is a hefty raise for a guy coming off a one-year, $875,000 contract, but GM Stan Bowman is quite fond of the skilled winger. "Richard made tremendous strides this past year, and we were pleased with the consistency he showed throughout the season," Bowman said. Panik played a full campaign for the first time in his career, dialing in 22 goals and 22 assists to complement a tidy plus-14 rating. A lack of consistency had been his Achilles' heel after tours with Tampa Bay and Toronto, but his ability to put it all together this year sent his fantasy stock soaring. To invest in Panik this fall, look out for him near the middle rounds of standard-sized drafts.
Panik, a restricted free agent, would like to re-sign with the Blackhawks, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports. Panik enjoyed a breakout season in 2016-17, setting career highs in goals (22), assists (22) and shots on goal (155) in 82 games. The 26-year-old winger would like to remain with the club that he blossomed with going forward, but it remains to be seen if the cash-strapped Blackhawks will be able to afford him.
Panik scored the go-ahead goal with three minutes left to play Thursday and it stood as the winner in a 2-1 victory over Ottawa. It came on the power play. Panik has 18 goals on the season and continues to show that 26-year-old journeymen can continue to grow their games in today's youth-oriented NHL. Panik has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his last 10 games and 37 points in 70 games.
Panik contributed a goal, an assist, four shots and a plus-5 rating in Tuesday's 5-3 win over Minnesota. Thirteen of Panik's 31 points have come in the past 12 games. His line with Jonathan Toews and Nick Schmaltz combined for all five goals and finished with 10 points among themselves.
Panik scored the Blackhawks only goal Saturday in a 3-1 loss to the Oilers. Panik has been especially hot in his last 10 games, potting five goals and adding five assists. Six of the points have come in the last four games. Check your wire -- Panik is available in many formats and will be a valuable add for the stretch run.
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