Doug Armstrong made the same face this morning. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
St. Louis Blues fans got a bit of good news early Saturday morning. Vladimir Tarasenko, the former 2010 first-round pick of the Note who has been playing in the KHL, has decided to come to the States and join the Blues.
As reported by all the hockey media, notably Jeremy Rutherford of the P-D, Tarasenko has decided to leave the KHL and join the Blues. He will be signing a contract on July 1.
This is, of course, huge news for the Blues. Without getting too hyperbolic, Tarasenko is the most exciting Blues' prospect in decades. While Erik Johnson and Alex Pietrangelo were arguably projected to be better players, Tarasenko is projected to be more exciting. Can you remember a time when the Blues had an offensive prospect who has gaggles of goal-scoring highlights?
Tarasenko will be joining the Blues—General Manager Doug Armstrong already said if the kid came over he wouldn't be hanging out in Peoria—and should be a big help. Now those of you expecting 30 or 40 goals should slow your roll a bit, but it's not out of the realm of possibility to expect 20 from the kid. He's not a tiny little player—he's big, strong and more of an Alex Ovechkin-type than a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-type On a team where finding a goal scorer has been tough, Vladdy will be a huge help.
To say I saw this coming would be a lie. With the threat of a lockout this season looming and the Russians participation in the 2014 Olympics in doubt, I figured he'd hang out in Russia for a bit. However, my view started to change when he was left of the World Championship roster—the team that won the gold medal—and the management questioned his fitness. It seemed like something that would leave a 20-year-old kid sour. Apparently it did.
Tarasenko is coming. Rejoice!