For Vladimir Tarasenko success will depend on how quickly he will be able to adapt. His entire career has been spent in Russia playing a different kind of game on larger ice. If Tarasenko is able to adapt to the more physical place with less space, he should be a star quickly, but his play will still depend on the players around him. Andy McDonald and Alex Steen will be playing with the young prospect and will make sure that he is given every opportunity to make the most of his career. Steen and McDonald’s speed and hockey intelligence will be key to helping Tarasenko take off this year. With people talking about Calder possibilities, Tarasenko is often overlooked due to the promise of two to three other players, but don’t be surprised to hear more and more about Tarasenko in the coming weeks and months. I would expect Tarasenko to put up decent numbers this season, but expect a total of somewhere near to 30 points if he can stay healthy. A point-per-game player in the KHL, Tarasenko will still need time to adapt to the North American culture and the NHL game. Look to next season for Tarasenko to have a huge breakout season.
Jaden Schwartz has been playing in Peoria during the lockout and it seems to have paid off quite a bit. While many weren’t sure if Schwartz would be able to crack the St. Louis Blues lineup, Schwartz came to camp and surprised Coach Hitchcock with his play. Hitchcock has Jaden Schwartz on a line with Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart, so it appears that Schwartz will be asked to be the finesse on that line while Berglund and Stewart use their bodies to open up opportunities on the ice. Although Schwartz made the starting lineup out of camp, the St. Louis Blues were forced to place Chris Porter on waivers to send him back down to Peoria. So, while we wait until official news comes that Porter cleared waivers, the St. Louis Blues have reassigned Jaden Schwartz to Peoria, per Norm Sanders:
However, news just came in at 11am that Chris Porter has cleared waivers, so he will be in the lineup for the St. Louis Blues tonight!
For now, Blues fans, we will have to wait to see what these two great prospects will be able to do, we can only say one thing:
LET’S GO BLUES!