As I am entirely fed up with everyone underrating Anisimov, this post will be an attempt to convince others how important he is to this club.
In the past, George has put up countless charts and graphs explaining how he plays against top competition and continues to produce regardless. I feel like many posters ignore a lot George's stuff, because it's harder to understand.
So I'm going to keep this simple, and I'm going to compare him to a player everyone loves, Ryan Callahan.
I'll try to compare the two the best I can in terms of age and playing time. Callahan is three years older, but Anisimov seems a year ahead in his development, so I will compare numbers in terms of Cally's production two years ago = Anisimov's production today.
- I will start off in the 2006-2007 season, when Callahan played his last year in the AHL. That year, in 60 games he had 55 points. In 2008-2009, in 80 games Anisimov had 82 points. So far, so good.
- In 2007-2008, Ryan Callahan made his NHL debut. In 52 games with the big club, he put up 13 points. Comparably, in 2009-2010, Artem Anisimov made his NHL debut, and in 82 games he put up 28 points. Here we see, once again, AA producing more than Callahan at a younger age.
- In 2008-2009, Ryan Callahan begun winning the hearts of Ranger fans. In 81 games he put up 40 points, and we begun to realize how special he truly was. In comparison, in 2010-2011, Anisimov made that same mark, and in 82 games put up 44 points. Look familiar yet?
- Now we get to the struggling season. In 2009-2010, Ryan Callahan's numbers dropped a small amount, and he managed 37 points in 77 games. At this point, he was being called a 3rd liner at best, and while we loved his heart, many believed that talent just wasn't there. Similarly, in 2011-2012, Anisimov has also remained stagnant in his production. In 56 games he has 29 points. To compare to Callahan, if Anisimov plays a full season (which he tends to every year), he'll go on to put up 42 points. This season, people are beginning to say that Anisimov is a "3rd line player at best" and "just doesn't have the talent". Sound familiar?
This is where Anisimov's story leaves us. In the last two years, Callahan has gone on to put up 91 points in 117 games. Looks real nice to me. Comparing both players production, Anisimov has put up more points at each experience level, while being a year younger. Seems to be that he's on pace to put up AT LEAST the points Callahan has put up over the last 2 years.
So for those who value Anisimov as a 3rd liner, or someone who can be easily replaced, or someone who just doesn't have enough talent to get it done, just remember Ryan Callahan. That's all I ask.