Saturday, September 14, 2013

Star Watch: Vladimir Tarasenko

     If you're a hardcore hockey fan, you might want to keep an eye out for a right winger named Vladimir Tarsenko of the St. Louis Blues. The 16th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Draft previously played in the KHL for Sibir Novosibirsk from 2008 to 2012, scoring 91 points (47 goals, 44 assists) in 161 games. He was traded to SKA St. Petersburg in 2012, scoring five goals and four assists in 15 regular season games. He was also plus-six in those 15 games with SKA. He also played for Russia in the World Junior Championship. He played for Russia's U-18 team in the 2008-09 , scoring eight goals and seven assists in seven games. The next year, he netted four goals and an assist in six games for Russia's U-20 team. Russia's U-20 team won gold in 2011 with Vladimir scoring four goals and seven assists during the junior tournament.
     Talent-wise, he was considered the top Russian-born talent in the 2010 NHL Draft. The Blues are excited about his goal-scoring ability with his quick hands and sudden release. His explosive acceleration allows him to create space and either score or let him use his strong playmaking ability. He's also a gritty, tenacious player who is very competitive. His time in the KHL has seasoned him into one of the more NHL-ready players in his 2010 class. He is also built sturdily at 5'11" and 202 pounds.

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