Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 6/5/12

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Artem Anisimov #42 of the New York Rangers skates against the Washington Capitals during their preseason game on September 24, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

In his third full year as a New York Ranger, 24-year-old forward Artem Anisimov had his fair share of ups and downs during the 2011-12 season. On some nights he could prove to be a legitimate difference maker for the Blueshirts, while on others he spent most of the game riding the bench because of a costly mistake. Not very much has changed in Anisimov's three years as a Ranger, and if you go back and read his player reviews from the prior two seasons, there's good chance you'll find yourself reading more of the same each time. Good thing? Don't count on it. 

The Good: One area of his game that there was definitely improvement in was Anisimov's strength on the puck. In prior years, he was probably the easiest Ranger to bump off the puck while on the forecheck, but to his credit, that was less and less of a problem during 2011-12. I actually thought that Artie was, at times, the team's best forechecker when it came to retrieving loose pucks and battling for possession. 

Also, Anisimov has most certainly upgraded his defensive game from when head coach John Tortorella first took over behind the bench here in New York. Artem was never really a consistent liability on defense because he did learn the other side of the puck while down in Hartford, but he had much to pick up on in order to become a more complete player. In that respect, Anisimov took some big strides this season.

And despite limited minutes, Ansimov did manage to tie for fourth on the team in scoring during the playoffs. 

Oh and he gave us one of the best moments of the year when he sniper-rifled the Tampa Bay Lightning. I had to throw that in there. 

The Bad: For the sake of Anisimov's future here in the Big Apple, an eight-point drop-off from last season is something to be concerned about. While he is still young and developing, at this stage of his career Anisimov should be looking to build on his numbers substantially each year as he approaches his prime. Unfortunately that has not been the case, and not only have we not seen an increase in stats, we've seen a decline. With the Rangers being a young core of players looking to improve and grow together, the fact that Artie is not following that trend could become a major issue next summer when he becomes a restricted free agent. 

Another thing worth pointing out is that John Tortorella gradually lost more and more trust in Anisimov as this past season progressed. By the time the playoffs rolled around, Anismov was down to about five minutes or less per night, which obviously isn't going to help the whole improvement thing. We've seen the coach's feelings on an individual player translate to less playing time and as a result less production in the past, and if things don't change, that's going to become the case for Anisimov until he is eventually shipped off elsewhere. 

Highlight of the Year: 

 

Overall Assessment: As noted above, Anisimov finds himself in a situation where he is a young player struggling to improve while his peers around him are soaring into the spotlight and higher into the lineup. If Artie makes it through this summer without be traded, it is my belief that the 2012-13 season will be his final to prove he deserves to remain a New York Ranger. It's been far too many years of the same from Anisimov, and especially since he is paid nearly $2 million, that's not going to fly with the front office or the coaching staff. 

Report Card Grade: C

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adrian Beltre completes cycle, gets mad when assaulted

Gruden had to convince Dan Snyder to bench RG3

Jim Mora turns P. Diddy fight into recruiting pitch for UCLA

Illinois releases results of women's basketball probe

Richie Incognito named starter by Rex Ryan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

DeMarco Murray isn't thrilled Eagles limited reps in practice

Brandon Weeden: 'God forbid I am forced to play' for Dallas

Ben Roethlisberger: Markus Wheaton is ready to break out

Hernandez tipster allegedly had sexual relationship with him

Rookie WR Tyler Lockett has Pete Carroll, Seahawks gushing

Packers TE returns to practice in wake of family tragedy

WATCH: Giants players fight during training camp

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger Woods on Twitter

Report: Rousey to star in film based on her autobiography

Porn star offers to cook meal for any sports champion

Why everyone is wrong about Cowboys Tony Romo, Part 1

Oregon was only team drug tested during CFB Playoff?

Five 2nd year NBA players ready to take the next step

John Daly wants to be US Ryder Cup captain

Rodgers appears in another Olivia Munn workout video

Matt Hasselbeck is still getting random drug tests

Five teams that won at the MLB trade deadline

What should be expected from Aaron Rodgers in 2015?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker