While the start of the NHL season has not been all that the Chicago Blackhawks have hoped for, there has been one bright spot and that is the play of Richard Panik.
Richard Panik is currently leading the NHL with 6 goals. He has scored in 4 of 6 games, including a hat trick against Nashville on 10/15. He also has points in 6 of the 7 games.
He had another good game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 3-2 loss for the Blackhawks. Panik scored a goal, and assisted on the other Hawks goal.
He had the game tying goal against his former team the Maple Leafs in the Blackhawks’ last game. The goal was huge in the comeback effort by the Hawks, which resulted in a shootout win. The goal was scored late in the third period at the 18:32 mark, just what the Hawks needed to force overtime.
Panik is playing his second season with the Chicago Blackhawks. He played in 30 games for the Blackhawks last year. Panik was acquired in a trade by the Blackhawks for Jeremy Morin. Panik had been playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ AHL team the Toronto Marlies.
He had a breakout with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2014-2015. Panik played 76 of the 82 games, compiling 11 goals, and 6 assists. The 11 goals were a career high for the right winger with only three years of limited NHL experience under his belt.
He was expected to make the team the next season however he failed to make a roster with the Leafs. So he was sent to the Marlies. This was not the first time that Panik had been sent down to the AHL after struggling in the NHL.
Before being claimed off waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Panik had spent a couple of seasons in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. He started in 2012-13 with the Syracuse Crunch because of the NHL lockout. He finished the 2012-13 by playing 25 games with the Lightning. The next year he saw his play with the Lightning cut and he ended up back in Syracuse to finish out the season.
Panik has experienced success in the AHL, amidst being sent up and down from the AHL to the NHL in his short professional career. He was part of the 2011-12, Norfolk Admirals that won the Calder Cup. The team also set a professional, North American record of winning 28 games in a row.
Hopefully, this success will continue for Panik. The Chicago Blackhawks need all the help they can get right now. They have had to start a bunch of rookies this season so Panik’s scoring has greatly boosted the team.