Why this Rangers superstar will likely be snubbed from an MVP win

New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) takes a shot against the Boston Bruins during the second period at the TD Garden
Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have an abundance of talent on their roster, but nobody comes close to superstar Artemi Panarin. Since signing with the Blueshirts in 2019, the Russian forward has been an offensive powerhouse. He’s recorded 438 points in 338 games with New York, earning himself the reputation as one of the best forwards in recent history.

This year, Panarin is having the best season of his career. He’s carried the Rangers in many performances, giving many fans reason to believe he should be named league MVP and win the Hart Trophy following the conclusion of this season. But the thing is, even though he deserves it, he’ll likely not win.

Artemi Panarin is having the best season of his career with his bald head

Panarin recorded his third hat trick of the season the last time he hit the ice, which helped him reach the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career. He became the 22nd Ranger in history to ever reach that milestone, and the first to do so since Chris Kreider in the 2021-22 season.

Before tonight’s matchup against the Florida Panthers, Panarin is sitting at 97 points on the year. It’s already a career-best for him, and the chances of him reaching 100 for the first time are practically confirmed. He could possibly hit that mark tonight, against his former teammate Sergei Bobrovsky.

Panarin’s excellence extends beyond his offensive production this season. He’s been a very one-sided player in the past, but this year, he’s expanded his skillset to include solid defense as well. The line of Panarin, Vincent Trocheck, and Alexis Lafreniere has been dominant all season, including both offensive and defensive success.

Panarin has been the Rangers’ MVP, but he still won’t win the Hart Trophy

Panarin was nominated for the Hart Trophy back in the 2019-20 season, but fell short and did not take home the win. Fans are demanding to see the Bread Man nominated once again, but even if he is, the chances of the NHL choosing him to win are slim.

In recent years, the league has chosen to pretend that the Art Ross Trophy doesn’t exist and treat the Hart Trophy like a point competition. Yes, Panarin has provided excellence for the Rangers every single game- but he sadly doesn’t lead the NHL in points. That title belongs to Nikita Kucherov, who will undoubtedly be named one of the finalists this year. It’s also likely that the NHL will name Connor McDavid a finalist just because it’s McDavid, which then takes up two of the three spots.

The chances of the Rangers having Panarin be nominated for the Hart Trophy are certainly there, but they’re realistically quite low. It would be great to see the Rangers have their best player finally be recognized for his elite play, but the NHL’s past selections sadly make it seem unlikely this season.

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