Vladimir Tarasenko is a budding star in the NHL, but he fits perfectly in the city of St. Louis and with the St. Louis Blues. When your average fan thinks of superstars they look to the coasts or perhaps Chicago. Sometimes stars make the market and sometimes the market builds up a star. Not so for the player affectionately called “Vlady.”
Obviously he did come and has fit in remarkably well. In two and a half seasons, Tarasenko has become one of the highest scoring players in the league and one of the most must-see, despite the market he plays in. Not since the days of Brett Hull has St. Louis seen a player with Tarasenko’s skillset. The only drawback he’s shown so far is his unselfishness. He may never be a league leader in scoring for the simple fact that despite his sniping abilities, he also looks to set up his teammates when they expect him to shoot.
What makes the marriage of St. Louis and Tarasenko even better is that he’s perfect for the city. He’s not boastful. He doesn’t seek out the limelight like Wayne Gretzky did or Alexander Ovechkin does, playing on the coasts. He wasn’t pushed by the league as the next big thing like Sydney Crosby. He’s just immensely talented, fun-loving and a bit shy, which plays extremely well in a Midwestern town like St. Louis. Tarasenko could probably fit in just as well in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles, but his personality seems to best suit his current situation.
For a good while after his arrival, fans were scared to mention his name with Hull, and for good reason. Regardless of sport, the city has seen its fair share of phenoms come through only for them to fall apart or just not live up to the hype. Now, there is no need to fear. Tarasenko is showing he can dominate. He is the real deal.