|(6/8/18) Panarin (knee) and the Blue Jackets have not made progress in contract negotiations, but it's a not a concern at this point, The Athletic reports.|
While Panarin has one year remaining on a two-year deal originally procured by the Blackhawks, it's not uncommon for elite players like him to engage in contract discussions a year ahead of time, though talks of a new deal had been on hold during the IIHF World Championship. The megastar from Russia led his team in points by a mile last season -- he accrued 27 goals and 55 assists over 81 games, which was an astounding 25 points greater than the output of the next highest Columbus skater, Seth Jones. Panarin would also set the offensive scoring standard for his squad in the Stanley Cup playoffs, dropping seven points over six games before the Cup-winning Capitals took them down in the conference quarterfinals. A knee sprain crept up on him in the postseason, but it's not expected to affect his status for training camp.