Artemi Panarin to play for Russia at 2017 World Championship, per report

The Russian winger scored a career-high 31 goals for Chicago this season.

Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin will join Team Russia for the upcoming 2017 World Championship starting on May 5, reports Sport-Express’ Igor Eronko. The report comes only a day after the Chicago Blackhawks were swept in four games by the Nashville Predators in the first round.

Panarin, 25, scored a career-high 31 goals with 43 assists in his second season with Chicago. Despite back-to-back 70-plus point seasons, Panarin struggled in the postseason by recording one assist in four playoff games.

Panarin is no stranger to playing for his home country. After winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, Panarin recorded 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 10 games to help Russia win bronze at the 2016 World Championships. He also won bronze at the 2015 WC and played for Russia at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The World Championships will be played from May 5 to 21 in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France. Group A games will be played at Lanxess Arena (18,500 capacity) in Cologne, while Group B will be at AccorHotels Arena (15,000 capacity).

Canada will go for a three-peat this year after defeating Russia and Finland the last two years, respectively. The Canadians are in Group B with Finland, who took silver at last year’s Worlds, along with Belarus, Czech Republic, France, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Russia is in Group A along with Denmark, Germany, Italy, Lativa, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States. The Russians open the tournament against the Swedes.