History Made: Panarin sets record for most assists by a Ranger forward, Kreider ties Cook on all-time franchise list


It’s been a history making year for the Rangers. In their latest win- a satisfying 6-3 triumph over the Islanders- Artemi Panarin made some history.

The 30-year old Russian assisted on all three of Andrew Copp’s goals during the first period. After setting up the first two with great passes, he started the play that led to Copp recording a natural hat trick late in the period.

On a Panarin lead pass to Ryan Strome, who made a perfect backdoor feed for a Copp tap in, that scoring play allowed the Bread Man to set a new team record for the most assists by a Ranger forward in a season.

His third helper of the period allowed him to pass Hall Of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. Both of who each had 72 helpers in different seasons. Messier did it in ’91-92 when he won the Hart Trophy in his first season on Broadway. Gretzky achieved it in ’96-97 when he teamed with Messier and single season record holder Brian Leetch to lead the team to the Conference Finals.

Before the night concluded, Panarin added a fourth assist on a Strome goal in the second period. That gives him 74 with four games left. Only Sergei Zubov and Leetch are ahead of him for the most assists in a season. Zubov recorded 77 during ’93-94 while Leetch set the franchise record with 80 apples in ’91-92.

This leaves four games on the remaining schedule for Panarin to try to catch Leetch. He also needs four points to become the seventh Blueshirt to reach 100 over a season. The last player to hit the century mark was Leetch when he had 102 points (22-80-102) in ’91-92. The year he won the first of two Norris Trophies.

For ’21-22, Panarin leads the Rangers I’m scoring with 96 points (22-74-96). A new career high established on Thursday night which eclipsed the 95 he totaled in ’19-20. The Covid shortened season where he went 32-63-95 in 69 games before the NHL paused play.

Also continuing to make history in a career year is Chris Kreider. At 30, the former 2009 first round pick has already established career bests in goals (51), points (74), power play goals (26), game-winners (11) and shots (245).

Late in the second period, Kreider scored goal number 51 when he converted a rebound of an Adam Fox shot on the power play. It padded his team record to 26 power play goals. His goal also became the game-winning goal. A team record 11th for a single season.

With the goal, Kreider also made some history by tying Hall Of Famer Bill Cook for 10th on the all-time franchise list. It was the 228th goal of his career. That puts Kreider in a tie with Cook. A nice achievement for the career Ranger.

The 51 goals are the third most by a Blueshirt in a season. By scoring on the man-advantage, he passed Vic Hadfield (50). With four games remaining, he is one away from tying Adam Graves (52) and needs three to tie record holder Jaromir Jagr (54).

With three assists, Adam Fox became the fourth Ranger to have 70 points in ’21-22. It’s the first time that’s happened since ’93-94 when Zubov, Messier, Leetch and Graves all went over 70 in ’93-94. As a team, the Rangers have done it four times including in ’71-72 and ’91-92.

Fox is also the first Ranger defenseman to eclipse 70 points since Leetch in ’00-01 when he had 79 (21-58-79). With four games left, Fox has 72 points (11-61-72). He played in his 200th career game Thursday night. In 200 games, Fox has 161 points (24-137-161).

MOST ASSISTS IN SEASON (NYR)

1. Brian Leetch 80 ’91-92

2. Sergei Zubov 77 ’93-94

3. Artemi Panarin 74 ’21-22

MOST ASSISTS BY FORWARD SEASON (NYR)

1. Artemi Panarin 74 ’21-22

2. Mark Messier 72 ’91-92

3. Wayne Gretzky 72 ’96-97

MOST PPG SEASON (NYR)

1. Chris Kreider 26 ’21-22

2. Jaromir Jagr 24 ’05-06

3. Vic Hadfield 23 ’71-72

MOST GWG SEASON (NYR)

1. Chris Kreider 11 ’21-22

2. Don Maloney 9 ’80-81

3. Mark Messier 9 ’96-97

4. Jaromir Jagr 9 ’05-06

5. Ryan Callahan 9 ’11-12

6. Brad Richards 9 ’11-12

7. Rick Nash 9 ’13-14

ALL-TIME FRANCHISE GOAL SCORING LIST (NYR)

T10. Bill Cook 228

T10. Chris Kreider 228

9. Brian Leetch 240

8. Steve Vickers 246

7. Mark Messier 250

6. Camille Henry 256

FOUR 70-POINT SCORERS FRANCHISE HISTORY (NYR)

1. 1971-72 Jean Ratelle (109), Vic Hadfield (106), Rod Gilbert (97), Brad Park (73)

2. 1991-92 Mark Messier (107), Brian Leetch (102), Mike Gartner (81), James Patrick (71)

3. 1993-94 Sergei Zubov (89), Mark Messier (84), Adam Graves (79), Brian Leetch (79)

4. 2021-22 Artemi Panarin (96), Mika Zibanejad (79), Chris Kreider (74), Adam Fox (72)

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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