Vladimir Tarasenko is one of the Blues’ most talked about prospects in years. Drafted 16th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Tarasenko is a powder keg of a player. Nicknamed “Tank,” Tarasenko was vital in getting the Russians the gold medal in 2010’s World Junior Championships, scoring four goals and seven assists. He’s clubs also scored 52 goals and 48 assists over 176 games in the KHL.
There was some worry that Tarasenko might elect to stay with the KHL, considering how much they pay their players to stay at home in Russia, but Tarasenko agreed this morning in principle to sign a three-year entry level contract. Under the CBA, unsigned players are not allowed to sign entry-level deals between June 1st and June 30th, so the deal has to wait until July 1st to be official.
He was basically promised a slot on the team out of camp, which more than likely swayed Tarasenko into coming to the NHL. It also probably helped that he was inexplicably left off of the Russian national team at the 2012 World Championships. He missed a chance for gold, and there’s a possibility he missed it because of his leaning toward coming to North America to play.
Blowing off a lucrative KHL contract in favor of an entry-level NHL deal is a good sign for the seriousness that Tarasenko is approaching the game with., and it’s a very good sign for the Blues as well.