This past season, Artem Anisimov dropped from 18 goals and 26 assists points down to 16 goals and 20 assists after signing a two year deal that had cap hit of $1.85 million.
Derek Stepan, who scored 21 goals and 24 assists in his rookie season, scored 17 goals and 34 assists last season and will be an RFA next summer.
Brooks questions whether either of them should be the second line center moving forward. While he played mostly wing last season, Anisimov spent the 2010-11 season centering Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan.
Adam Rotter: I don’t think there is anything to discuss, unless a Ryan Getzlaf or someone like that is on the table, with Derek Stepan. He has shown a good ability to play at both ends of the ice, has terrific vision and turns 22 next week. I expect Stepan to get at least 60 points this season as he enters his third NHL season and should spend most of his time on a line with Chris Kreider. There is no question that he still needs to get better on faceoffs, but that should come with more practice and experience.
Anisimov is a question mark. I think it’s possible that seeing his sniper goal celebration on 24/7 sent his game into a tail spin because after putting up three points in three games immediately following it, he went scoreless in 12 games and never got his game back to where it was. He had 18 points in 25 games in November and December and only had 14 the rest of the way. When I asked what the Rangers should do with him 46% of people said to keep him.