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Rangers’ Artemi Panarin named Ted Lindsay Award finalist

Artemi Panarin (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

New York Rangers star forward Artemi Panarin has been named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award, presented annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHL Players’ Association.

He is the first member of the Rangers to be a finalist for the award since goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in 2011-12. The last Rangers’ skater before Panrin to be up for the award was Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06, which he won.

The nomination adds another accolade to Panarin’s stellar first season with the Rangers after signing a seven-year, $81.5 million deal last summer.

In 69 games before the NHL’s regular season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 28-year-old posted 32 goals and 63 assists for 95 points — all career bests.

His 71 even-strength points and 46 even-strength assists even led the entire NHL. Only four other Rangers have led the league even-strength points since 1933-34 and six have had the most even-strength assists.

Andy Bathgate (1955-56) and Jean Ratelle (1967-68) are the only two in franchise history to lead the NHL in both of those categories during the regular season.

Panarin also posted a robust plus-36 rating, becoming the first NHL player with at least 95 points and a plus-35 rating in the same season since Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Sedin, and Nicklas Backstrom in 2009-10.

That sort of production will be imperative for the Rangers’ postseason hopes as they prepare for their NHL Qualifiers — a best-of-five series to move on to the Eastern Conference quarterfinals — against the Carolina Hurricanes beginning Aug. 1.

Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche are the two other finalists up for the award alongside Panarin.

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