Many fantasy hockey analysts had St. Louis Blues rookie Vladimir Tarasenko high on their sleeper radars for the 2013 season.
However, I don’t think we anticipated an immediate impact from the Russian sniper.
Through four games, just four games as an NHL rookie, Tarasenko looks nothing like one. He has scored four goals to go along with two assists, giving him six points so far in this young season. Again, it’s only four games, but the goals Tarasenko has been scoring are showcasing incredible individual talent. He has great speed, terrific one-on-one moves and a snipe of a shot. Playing on a line with a terrific playmaker in Andy McDonald (thankfully healthy) and Alexander Steen, Tarasenko will have plenty of opportunity to continue putting up big time numbers.
With this young talent off to a terrific start to his career, a question arises.
Can Tarasenko keep it up for your fantasy teams?
Yes, Si, affirmative. You get the idea. Tarasenko has been playing in the 17-years old, which makes him the most experienced rookie out there. He has been playing against tough competition and older opponents for years now, so I’d bet on the 21-year old seeing continued success in the NHL. Don’t forget, he is playing on the Blues, one of the best teams in the entire league, which will only increase his chances of doing well.
An overlooked aspect of Tarasenko’s hot start is that rookies historically do not thrive under Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock. The fact that he is playing at such a high level allows fantasy owners to assume that Tarasenko will not be on a shorter leash.
It’ll be interesting to see how the rookie handles the larger attention he will likely receive from opposing defenses in the near future. However, Tarasenko has the skill-set, surrounding talent and upside to not only be a top point scorer for the Blues, but also for fantasy rosters.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football/hockey columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.