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Get to Know a Blue Jacket: Artem Anisimov

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Previewing the Columbus Blue Jackets vs Pittsburgh Penguins playoff series and we turn to a big Russian center. No, not Evgeni Malkin, but Artem Anisimov

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sport

Name: Artem Anisimov

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 200 lb.

Born: May 24, 1988 (25 years old)

Drafted: 2nd Round (54th overall), 2006 by the New York Rangers

2013-14 stat line: 81 games played, 22 goals, 17 assists, 20 penalty minutes, -2 (+/-)

2013-14 stats vs Penguins: 5 GP, 0G, 0A, -2 (+/-) [But he does have 8 goals in 23 career games vs. the Pens]

2013-14 5v5 Advanced Stats: 50.8 CF%, +1.2% Corsi Relative, 99.9 PDO

Player detail (via The Hockey News player page )

Assets: Has a very imposing frame, excellent two-way instincts and some untapped offensive potential. Displays some playmaking ability. Also owns shutdown qualities.
Flaws: Is woefully inconsistent, and a bit of a maddening player to coach (since he doesn't always make the most of his obvious gifts). Isn't a natural goal-scorer.
Career Potential: Big, versatile but inconsistent forward.

2013-14 Blue Jackets player usage, via Extra Skater


Analysis:Anisimov is one of the most well-rounded players on the Blue Jackets. While he's only 9th overall in ES minutes per game among forwards on the team, he's 3rd in short-handed time and #4 in power play (among current, not-injured players). He's a very valuable player who still puts up solid possession numbers despite getting a heavy workload in the defensive and neutral zones.

Most common linemates: Anisimov practiced on what was called the 4th line with Derek MacKenzie and Blake "No" Comeau. Anisimov's most common regular season linemates were Boone Jenner (who's currently on the top line with Ryan Johansen) and Nick Foligno and RJ Umberger ( both currently injured).

Why you should know who he is: Anisimov has been a pain to the Penguins, scoring goals against them frequently. Mostly this has happened when he was with the Rangers earlier in his career, but with his size, puck skills and defensive ability, he can change games when he's motivated and in the zone.

How the Pens can stop him: Stop him before he gets the chance. As a player who often has to start in the defensive zone, if the Pens can win the faceoff and pin Anisimov in his own end, he'll have less of a chance to get the puck for shots himself. If Anisimov plays with 4th line caliber wingers, he might not be as dangerous as if he was used differently.