The St. Louis Blues have made Vladimir Tarasenko the richest player to adorn the note in the history of the hockey club. An eight-year, $60 million deal was made last night, as pen was put to paper to ensure the 23 year-old stays in St Louis until he is at least 31 years old.
Although a pricey contract, Tarasenko sure did earn this deal. He finished tied for 10th in points last season amongst NHL players, with 73 points (37 goals, 36 assists). He became the youngest Blue to score 30 goals in a single season since Brendan Shanahan did it in 1991, and the first to have 73 points since Pavol Demitra in 2002. Already making strides at such an early age, the St Louis Blues seem set up very well for the future, with Tarasenko leading the charge.
At 6 foot, 223-pounds, Tarasenko is a power forward capable of being effect in all three zones, and that was put on display in January, where he took part in his first ever NHL All-Star game. No doubt the first of many.
To add to his already impressive season, Tarasenko was one of only four players to score two hat-tricks last year, and was in fact the only player to score six game winning goals, six shootout goals and two overtime goals. He was only the second Blues player since the great Brett Hull to score a hat-trick that included a game winning goal in overtime. (28 Oct vs Dallas Stars)
This streak continued into the opening round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, where Tarasenko netted six playoff goals (Tied for first at the time), and added one helper, putting him third overall in points. Unfortunately the Blues wouldn’t make it out of the first round against the Minnesota Wild. Despite that, the young Russian star become the first Blues player to score a playoff hat-trick since 2004.
Already breaking team records, the future is very bright for Vladimir Tarasenko and the St Louis Blues.