Panarin bests Gretzky's Rangers record

Jared Silber / National Hockey League / Getty

Artemi Panarin is off to a hot start in his tenure with the New York Rangers, and now the forward has surpassed a record set by The Great One.

Panarin's 61 points this season are the most by a Rangers player through their first 43 games with the franchise since Wayne Gretzky put up 59 points over the same span in 1996-97.

The 28-year-old Panarin signed a seven-year, $81.5-million contract with the Rangers last summer, making him one of the highest-paid players in the league.

He's quickly shown his worth, as he leads the team with 24 goals and 61 points. The Rangers' second-leading scorer, Ryan Strome, has 41 points.

Despite sitting seventh in the Metropolitan Division with a 21-18-4 record, the Rangers are still in the mix for the playoffs, sitting six points behind the second wild-card spot.