[Ed. note: As part of the build-up to the first round playoff series between the Capitals and the Rangers, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but lesser-known players on the Rangers and how they might impact the series.]
#42 / Center / New York Rangers
May 24, 1988
54th overall, 2006 by New York
|Assets||Has a very projectable frame, excellent two-way instincts and some untapped offensive potential. Displays plenty of playmaking ability.|
|Flaws||Doesn't have natural goal-scoring acumen, and could stand to use his size more to his advantage at both ends of the ice.|
|Career Potential||Big all-around center with upside. (Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via SB Nation player page)|
Why you should know who he is - Anisimov spent much of the regular season skating with playing and the tough minutes, but in the wake of the injury to Callahan, he has been skating with Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik. The fact that John Tortorella is comfortable playing him on those two very different lines says a lot about the young Russian, as does the fact that he averaged more than a minute of ice time per game on both special teams units. His five-goal/six-assist March was the best month (production-wise) of his young career, and he ended the season with 13 points in his last 18 games.
How the Caps can stop him - With just a 44.5% success rate on faceoffs, Anisimov is a bit of a liability in the dot, and he can be a streaky scorer - prior to his hot March, he had just ten points in 26 games in January and February, four of which came in one game against the Leafs. Gaborik will be the one to watch on that line, but the Caps can't afford to lose Anisimov, or he's likely make them pay.