St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) scores a goal while being defended by Nashville Predators defenseman Scott Hannan (22) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
By Chris Skor for KSDK Sports
(KSDK Sports) -- Hey, Blues fans! Do we have a star in the making? Yes, it's only been two games, but you have to admit after losing half a season due to a work stoppage, watching rookie Vladimir Tarasenko on the ice has been worth the wait.
Tarasenko, 21 has been electric on the ice. In his Saturday night NHL debut, he led the Blues with a two-goal night to defeat the Red Wings. On Monday night his three points kept the Blues in the game, allowing them to capture a shoot out victory over the Nashville Predators.
Tarasenko is currently tied for the league lead in points at five with Marian Hossa, Martin St. Louis and Thomas Vanek.
So who is Tarasenko?
Vladimir Tarasenko is a Russian native who started off his career in the Kontinental Hockey League. He spent the last two years playing for the HC Sibir Novosibirsk. In two season's time, Tarasenko became the team's second leading scorer.
At the 2009 Under-18 World Championship, Tarasenko placed second overall in shots scored. In addition to that Tarasenko earned a silver medal, and was named on the tournament all-star team.
As the son of ex-forward Andrei Tarasenko, (coach of Vladimir's former team Sibir Novosibirsk,) it's no wonder the newest member of the Blue's has had so much success on the ice. Vladimir's father Andrei Tarasenko played 21 seasons in the Russian Hockey League during which time he represented Russia in the 1994 Olympics, and in 1997, led the league in goals scored.
The Blues decision to sign Vladimir Tarasenko was a no-brainer, drafting him in the first round (16 overall) of the 2010 NHL draft. Tarasenko arrived in Saint Louis in September of last year. Shortly after his arrival the Blue's held a press-conference introducing Vladimir Tarasenko, and presenting him with his jersey; #91.
During the conference the Blue's coach Doug Armstrong made it clear that Tarasenko is not here to "reinvent the wheel" but rather to come along and develop at his own pace. Armstrong stress though, that when they first signed Tarasenko they had no doubt that he was in fact "NHL-ready" and finished by saying that he will have to "fight" for his ice time.
With the help of an interpreter Tarasenko spoke up stating that he is "very excited to be here in St. Louis, to be playing for the St. Louis Blues," and closed by saying he would be "happy to help the team win the Stanley Cup this year."