3. Vladimir Tarasenko
This one almost goes without saying. The Blues have been longing for a true scorer and it took years to finally find one.
That was the team’s only original pick. They had acquired the 16th pick from Ottawa in return for David Rundblad.
The Blues wisely picked Vladimir Tarasenko with the choice. The interesting thing is they were surprised he had fallen that far, but wanted Schwartz enough to take him first.
Thank goodness they still made the move to get that other pick. Tarasenko is looking like he could have been worth a top five pick, if not the overall number one – no offense to Taylor Hall, who was taken first that year.
It took a little longer to get Tarasenko into the NHL. That was not so much due to talent as he was just comfortable playing in his native Russia.
It did not take him long to convert to the game, even if getting used to the culture took a little longer. His rookie season, he put up 19 points in 38 games.
He scored 21 goals and 43 points in his first full season. His goals went up each year, having a 40 goal season in 2015-16.
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He doesn’t have the blistering shot like his countryman, Alex Ovechkin. He may never lead the league in goals or scoring, simply because he looks to his teammates more than many superstars.
Even so, he is a bona fide scorer. That’s something the Blues have not had since Brett Hull left.
Sure, there were guys like Demitra or Tkachuk. The odd name would pop up like Young or Boyes.
As a pure scorer though, it has been the Golden Brett that we all wanted someone to replicate. Tarasenko may never put up 80 in a season, but he’s the kind of player you expect to score every game.
That’s good enough.