The PHWA’s releasing the Masterton Trophy nominees, and this year is has a very deserving crop of players. Former Blue Jaden Schwartz is the Seattle Kraken’s nominee after fighting back from injury and the sudden passing of his father. The Blues nominee is Vladimir Tarasenko, who has had an unexpectedly excellent season after bouncing back from multiple shoulder surgeries.
This off-season, Tarasenko requested a trade due to how his shoulder was handled. GMs were concerned about his recovery and took a pass on a trade; Seattle could’ve selected him in the expansion draft and went with Vince Dunn instead.
Oh, how hindsight is 20/20. Tarasenko has 34 goals in 73 games, with 80 points - good for first on the Blues in both categories. He’s riding a 10 game point streak and is the first Blues player to reach 80 points since Pavol Demitra did it in 2002-2003.
From the PHWA’s press release:
Tarasenko underwent three separate surgeries on his left shoulder in a span of 28 months. Many thought he’d never be the same player again. He requested a trade and Blues GM Doug Armstrong found no takers. The Seattle Kraken took a pass on him in the expansion draft. Tarasenko is still a member of the Blues and the club couldn’t be happier. After playing just 34 games in 2019-20 and ‘20-21, the 30-year-old is the team leader in goals and points, and he’s set a new career-high in assists.