St. Louis Blues: Vladimir Tarasenko starting to fulfill promise

Vladimir Tarasenko beat Dallas with his 1st NHL hat trick (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Vladimir Tarasenko beat Dallas with his 1st NHL hat trick (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

The 22 year old Blues winger from Yaroslavl, Russia is looking ready to take on a more prominent role this season for the team. This is Tarasenko’s 3rd year in the NHL and is usually the magic season where you can get a really good indication of what type of player they will be.

In 8 games this season Vlad has 4 goals and 9 points. He is averaging 17 minutes a night and is getting special teams time as well. On the man advantage he has 1 goal and 2 assists – all pointing to a rise in production this season.

Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues)

Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues)

Of course, we need to be realistic, right now he’s on pace for a 42 goal and 92 point campaign. Realistically, Tarasenko should finish around 60 – 70 points. Last season, he played at about a .67 points per game clip and finished with 43 points in 64 games. A slight improvement in that area projected over an 82 game season would put him at about, 62 points.

Is this pace sustainable? If Tarasenko keeps firing the puck it is. Scott Cullen of TSN highlighted this today:

 

The third-year forward has had a major spike in shots on goal, from 2.13 per game last season to 4.50 per game this year. According to Puckalytics, among players with at least 75 minutes of 5-on-5 play, Tarasenko ranks second in shots per 60 minutes.

It also help that he’s playing with Jori Lehtera as they played together in Russia. “We have some chemistry,” Tarasenko said after notching a hat trick last night against Dallas. Chemistry is a hard thing to come by in the NHL, and if these two have it – Tarasenko will continue to produce.

Sky’s the limit for this kid.

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