The Columbus Blue Jackets may be in a deadlock with Sergei Bobrovsky in contract negotiations, but at least they were able to get another key piece of their roster locked up on a new contract. The club announced a new deal for Artem Anisimov on Wednesday.
Anisimov signed a three-year contract with the Blue Jackets, with Columbus preventing him from reaching restricted free agent status. The deal carries a cap hit just over $3.3 million a year, which is about what Anisimov probably could have expected. If he can continue developing his game, this’ll pay off in a big way for the Jackets.
His first year in Columbus could be considered somewhat disappointing, as his health had him pretty limited. He had a variety of issues, including a concussion early in the season. He managed to play in just 35 games for the Blue Jackets, but they liked what they saw enough to offer him a new contract.
In those 35 games, Anisimov posted 18 points, including 11 goals. Of those 11, 10 came with the Blue Jackets at full strength, tops on the team. He’s a versatile forward, capable of playing in the middle, where he won 49 percent of his draws this year, as well as out on the wing.
Anisimov’s upside has him putting up anywhere from 45-50 points in a season. His career mark is 44, back in 2010-11, at total which included 18 goals. With a completely healthy season under his belt next year, he very well could reach 20 goals for the first time in his career.
He’s not the type of player that will be an offensive superstar, but with the Blue Jackets, he’ll be a key player in the offensive end. After a year to adjust to Columbus, he’ll head into the 2013-14 season completely healthy and could be in for a career year, with a new contract in hand.