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Blackhawks prospect Artemi Panarin wins KHL's Most Improved Player award

Chicago's new forward earns his final accolade in Russian league.

Matej Divizna/Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks prospect Artemi Panarin picked up one last accolade from the KHL before he heads to North America.

Panarin, who signed with the Hawks on April 28, was named the league's most improved player Thursday evening.

The 23-year-old forward lead SKA St. Petersburg in scoring -- ahead of Ilya Kovalchuck -- with 26 goals and 62 points in 54 games. Panarin shared fourth in the KHL in points and fifth in goals  and game-winning goals with seven. He was selected to the KHL All-Star Game for the first time in his career, but did not play.

He added 20 points -- tied for third most in the league --  in 20 playoff games during SKA's Gagarin Cup championship run. He tallied at least 20 goals in each of the last two season in the KHL with SKA.

Following his signing with the Hawks, he earned a silver medal at the Hockey World Championships after recording five goals and five assists in 10 games.

Panarin scored 183 points in 263 KHL games split across seven seven seasons with SKA (2012-15), Vityaz (2008-12, 2012-13) and Ak Bars (2011-12).

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