Chicago Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin has had quite a start to his NHL career over the last two seasons, and on Tuesday night he did something that no other player in team history has ever done.
Just under 30 seconds into the second period of the Blackhawks’ 4-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Panarin got open in the slot near the front of the net, and after Patrick Kane found him with a pass, he snapped home a slap shot one-timer past Calvin Pickard to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead:
The goal was not only a really smart play by the second-year man, but it was also his 30th of the season, and it put him into a club of his own. According to the good folks at Hockey Reference, Panarin is now the first player in Blackhawks history to score 30 or more goals in each of his first two NHL seasons.
Only six players in Blackhawks have scored 30 or more goals in one of their first two NHL seasons, including Hall of Famer Denis Savard and current Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Darryl Sutter, Eric Daze, and Rich Preston are the other three players that are on the list.
Panarin has some financial incentive to continue putting pucks in the net over the team’s final two games as well. If he finishes in the top 10 in the NHL in points this season, he’ll trigger a bonus clause in his contract that will pay him nearly $2 million.