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Despite being ranked as the top European skater for the 2010 Draft, Tarasenko fell all the way to No. 16, where the St. Louis Blues were all too happy to snatch him up. Tarasenko’s fall had nothing to do with his skill level, rather, many NHL teams were scared that the super talented sniper would stay in Russia instead of coming to North America. However, since the draft Tarasenko has made it clear that he does intend on coming to St. Louis and will be in the NHL soon enough.
Tarasenko has all the offensive talent in the world, a pure scorer who is a threat to do so every time he touches the puck. Like Adam Larsson, Tarasenko has also played against grown competition as a teenager, which will only help his maturity. His numbers in Russia are comparable to Alex Ovechkin’s, and he has the ability to carry his team in desperate situations (Does a 3-0 deficit to Team Canada in the 2011 WJC Gold Medal game sound familiar?)
Tarasenko is smaller than other Russian superstars like Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk, but he has the potential to be a perennial 40+ goal scorer, and if everything goes right, he could be an Ovechkin-like player for the Blues. Not bad for a guy that 15 teams passed on.