ESPN.com always amazes with the fact that they rate and rank NHL prospects, considering how much attention they give to hockey on-air.
ESPN the network isn't exactly known for their in-depth hockey coverage. They're better known as a network for not having any hockey coverage at all, actually -- they might've spent about three minutes total on the lockout so far. NHL prospects? Ha! NHL prospects not in North America? Double ha!
Luckily, ESPN.com is not the network. They do actually have good hockey coverage led by Craig Custance and Scott Burnside; unfortunately, quite a bit of it is hidden behind the dreaded ESPN Insider paywall. Their Top 20 Prospects Outside The NHL feature is unfortunately one of those features.
Luckily, FrozenNotes. com has breached the paywall a tiny bit to bring us the news that Blues' prospect Vladimir Tarasenko has been rated 16th overall on the list. Tarasenko captained the Russian 2011 World Juniors team to a gold medal, and this season with SKA St. Petersburg he has seven goals and six assists in eight games played so far. Blues' fans concerns of him not getting decent ice time has been unfounded this year, as he has more often than not been placed on a line with Ilya Kovalchuk.
There's no one of Kovy's prowess on the Blues, but with coach Ken Hitchcock planning to put him on a line with Alex Steen and Andy McDonald, he should still have more than enough chances to bang and crash his way to a twenty goal season.