Vladimir Tarasenko
Vladimir Tarasenko
27-Year-Old Right WingRW
St. Louis Blues
2019 Fantasy Outlook
When it looked like the Blues needed rebuilding early in the season, Tarasenko was consistently brought up on the trade block, especially after he lit the lamp just six times over the first 21 games. The Blues were rewarded for holding onto their Russian sniper, however, as Tarasenko notched his fifth straight 30-goal season with 33 goals and 68 points in 76 games. The 27-year-old continued to be strong offensively in the postseason, posting 11 goals and six assists, and his 33 playoff goals since the 2014 season are second only to Alex Ovechkin's 34. Being next to a name like Ovechkin speaks to the untapped potential Tarasenko has, and with a team that's remaining intact while young prospects look to take their next steps in development, Tarasenko has the assets around him to approach the 80-point mark for the first time in his career. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed an eight-year, $60 million contract with the Blues in July 2015 that runs through the end of the 2022-23 season.
Pair of helpers in loss
RWSt. Louis Blues
October 12, 2019
Tarasenko collected two assists, one coming on the power play, in Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Canadiens.
The Russian-born sniper continues to be shut out of the goal column through five games but has collected four assists for his efforts. Tarasenko will surely find the back of the net before long but until then, he seems perfectly content to set up teammates for goals as opposing teams look to shut him down on a nightly basis.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
When Tyler Bozak signed with the Blues, he joked that he was most excited to never block a shot from Tarasenko again. But he wasn't kidding. When Tarasenko loads up the cannon, goalies tremble at his pinpoint accuracy and opponents decide which limb to sacrifice. The 26-year-old fired a career-high 306 shots on goal in 2017-18 and accrued 33 goals and 33 assists. It was Tarasenko's lowest output since the 2013-14 campaign, partly because he dropped to 16 points (from 22) with the man advantage. The Russian is bound to bounce back, especially after the Blues went all-in with free agency and trades this offseason, bringing in four top-nine forwards, including center Ryan O'Reilly. Opponents will now have to worry about three strong Blues lines - not just Tarasenko's. There are major concerns about the Russian's health, however, as he underwent shoulder surgery after the season and won't be re-evaluated until September, so fantasy owners will want to check updates on Tarasenko throughout camp. If he shakes his injury by the fall, there's no reason he can't approach the 80-point range.
What is there to say about Tarasenko that hasn't already been said? At 25 years old, he’s developed into one of the top few snipers in the NHL, and he’s set new career highs in points for three straight seasons -- most recently netting 75, 22 of which came with the man advantage. His modest playoff performance (three goals and three assists in 11 games) may have contributed to the Blues’ second-round exit, but Tarasenko still racked up a heavy shot total (44) -- there was just not much to be done against a white-hot Pekka Rinne. The Russian winger is now in even better position to perform thanks to the Blues’ acquisition of Brayden Schenn, who'll add punch on their power play and maybe even join Tarasenko on the first line. There’s no reason to think he won't easily clear 70 points with about 40 goals once again, making him an early pick across the fantasy universe.
Tarasenko is a stud, through and through. He has scored 77 goals in the last two seasons, including 40 last year. And he finished tied for 12th in league scoring in 2015-16 with 74 points. The sniper trended on Twitter after he drained 13 points, including seven goals, in the Blues' first two playoff rounds. His star had clearly arrived. But Tarasenko hit a wall against the Sharks in the Western Conference final and failed to pick up a point until the third period of a Game 6 series loss. For all his talent, Tarasenko still has some massive growing up to do – his selfish play against the Sharks showed us that. But fantasy leagues are built on the regular season and for that, he's absolute gold. He's a lock to fire 300 shots and deliver another 40 goals this season, and maybe even crest the point-per-game plateau. Tarasenko will be off the board late in the first round and helping his owner push toward a championship.
We knew Tarasenko was primed for a breakout, but he was truly otherworldly in his third NHL season. He finished in a tie for 10th in scoring with 73 points in 77 games, potted 37 markers (many of the highlight-reel variety) and posted a plus-27 rating. And he get the beat going during the postseason, adding six goals and an assist in the Blues' first-round loss to the Wild. St. Louis rewarded Tarasenko in the offseason by locking him up for eight years, making him the face and long-term future of the franchise. At 23, the Russian is heading into the prime years of his career, and should be one of the best players in the league again. It's not quite clear how the Blues' lines will shake out, but he's not going to be anywhere but the top one. The scary thing is, Tarasenko could still take another step forward this year, especially with St. Louis bringing back just about every key contributor from last season aside from T.J. Oshie.
After a rookie season that was occasionally marred by inconsistency, Tarasenko showed noteworthy improvements in Year Two in St. Louis, increasing his scoring output from 0.50 to 0.67 points/game while becoming one of the Blues’ best puck possessors with a team-best 58.1 Corsi For Percentage. The young Russian really seemed to catch fire in March, compiling three goals and six assists in eight games before breaking his right hand and missing the rest of the regular season. However, Tarasenko would return in time for the Blues’ first-round playoff series with the Blackhawks and was arguably the team’s MVP during the six-game defeat, scoring four goals while still wearing a cast on his hand. Still only 22 years old, Tarasenko could very well emerge as the Blues’ top scorer in 2014-15, even as the team’s considerable forward depth affords him lesser ice time than most of the league’s other elite right wingers. He’s expected to open the season on the team’s second line with Paul Stastny and Jaden Schwartz, a potentially explosive trio that most teams would be happy to have as their top unit.
Tarasenko came out of the gates like a barn on fire by posting 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his first eight games and it looked like the start of a potential rookie-of-the-year campaign. That was until Colorado's Mark Olver knocked him out cold with a wicked hit on Feb 20. Tarasenko missed the next ten games and only mustered nine more points after his strong start. The kid has a nose for the puck, great skating skills and showed the ability to finish plays. Look for the 21-year-old phenom to improve on last year's numbers now that he has had a taste of North American style hockey. He could be a great sleeper pick, but don't wait on him too long. The potential for a 60-point season will lure many fantasy suitors.
After some conflicting reports, Tarasenko signed a contract with the Blues and it is believed he'll land a roster spot. The 2010 first-round draft pick, who spent the last two seasons in the KHL, has made overtures that he's not coming to North America to play in Peoria (AHL). But there won't be a spot available for him on the top six -- at least not yet -- in St. Louis. The Blues are high on the prospect, but he won't be handed a plum job right away. We'll have to see how his talent mixes in with other players during training camp and to see if Tarasenko is ready for the NHL, but at best, he'll land a spot on the third line.
Tarasenko, 19, overcame a shoulder injury mid-season and had a relatively successful year in Russia. He has decided to skate for one more season in the KHL after a year of speculation that he would bring his offensive skill to North America in 2011-12. Another year of development in Russia may help in the long run, but the Blues were hoping to get him here for the season, even if it were in the AHL. And that may be the reason why Tarasenko decided to stay for another season. He’d like to have a spot on the NHL roster.
Tarasenko was the Blues’ first-round pick in the 2010 draft, and will play in the Russian KHL this season. With one more year on his KHL deal, we expect Tarasenko in North America by the 2011-12 season. He’s a gifted offensive player, with a booming shot but also features some playmaking skills. At the moment, he’s all offense and has a ways to go to become a two-way player. With the Blues’ organization bereft of skilled forwards, Tarasenko moves to the top of the forward-prospect list.
More Fantasy News
Collects assist
RWSt. Louis Blues
October 7, 2019
Tarasenko recorded an assist, three shots and three hits in Monday's 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs.
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Back at practice
RWSt. Louis Blues
September 25, 2019
Tarasenko (illness) returned to practice Wednesday, Jim Thomas of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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No go Tuesday
RWSt. Louis Blues
September 24, 2019
Tarasenko (illness) won't play Tuesday against Dallas.
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Under the weather
RWSt. Louis Blues
September 23, 2019
Tarasenko missed practice Monday due to illness, Lou Korac of NHL.com reports.
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Given all-clear
RWSt. Louis Blues
September 13, 2019
Tarasenko (knee) is ready to roll after dealing with offseason knee and shoulder issues, Lou Korac of NHL.com reports.
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