During the St. Louis Blues’ 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Monday night in the first game of a home and home series, Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko reached a significant career milestone when he scored his second goal of the game.
The goal came with 2:13 remaining in the third period, from Brandon Saad and Brayden Schenn, making the score 4-1 in favor of the Blues. Tarasenko finished the night with two goals and one assist.
Tarasenko was drafted 16th overall by the Blues in 2010. However, he didn’t immediately join the Blues as he chose to stay in the KHL instead.
On June 2, 2012, Tarasenko announced that he would be leaving Russia and joining the Blues for the 2012-13 NHL season but then the lockout began on September 15 and Tarasenko decided to return to his KHL team SKA Saint Petersburg until the lockout ended.
On January 19, 2013, Tarasenko was finally able to make his NHL debut and scored his first two NHL goals on his first two shots in the league.
On February 4, 2013, Tarasenko was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January after recording nine points.
Tarasenko finished his rookie season with the Blues with eight goals and 11 assists in 38 games played.
On October 28, 2014, Tarasenko scored his first NHL hat trick and was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week after recording five goals and one assist during the week.
Tarasenko finished the 2014-15 season leading the Blues in both goals (37) and points (73), along with finishing fifth in the NHL in goals and ninth in points.
During the offseason, Tarasenko signed an eight-year, $60 million contract extension.
In the stretch between the 2014-15 and 2018-19 seasons, Tarasenko was one of only two players to score over 30 goals a season during that timeframe, the other player was Washington Capitals forward, and fellow Russian, Alexander Ovechkin.
On June 12, 2019, the Blues won their first Stanley Cup in the 52 year history of the franchise and Tarasenko had 11 goals over the course of the playoffs, ranking second among Blues players and third highest in the league. He also became the first player in Blues franchise history to score a penalty shot goal in the playoffs during game five of the Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks.
Tarasenko would then miss almost the entire 2019-20 season after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery on October 24, 2019.
That surgery, unfortunately, didn’t take so Tarasenko required a second, and then third, surgery to completely resolve the issue.
On July 7, 2021, Tarasenko requested a trade from the Blues as he was frustrated with how his shoulder surgeries were handled and he was left unprotected in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft for the Seattle Kraken but wasn’t selected.
So far this season, Tarasenko has 23 goals and 35 assists for 58 points in 58 games played.
With his 500th point, Tarasenko became the fifth Blues player to reach the milestone, joining Bernie Federko, Brett Hull, Brian Sutter, and Garry Unger.