Chicago Blackhawks rookie forward Artemi Panarin was named Russia's Breakout Athlete of the Year by SportsExpress, reports Slava Malamud.
Panarin, 24, signed a two-year entry-level contract worth $812,500 plus $2.575 million in incentives with the Blackhawks in April, and since then has put the NHL on notice. He has scored 10 goals and 21 assists, while skating at left wing on the second line, in 37 games in his first season in North America.
Prior to signing as a free agent with the Hawks, he finished fourth in the KHL in points after racking up 26 goals and 36 assists in 54 games for SKA St. Petersburg. The winger added 20 points (five goals and 15 assists) and 20 games during the playoffs en route to a Gagarin Cup Championship.
Panarin was also a scoring threat in Russia's silver medal run in the World Championships. His five goals ranked fifth in the tournament and second on the team.