The NHL’s Central Division’s Next Five Breakout Stars

By Skylar Peters
5 of 6

Apr 18, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing

Vladimir Tarasenko

(91) takes a shot as Phoenix Coyotes defenseman

Derek Morris

(53) defends during the third period at the Scottrade Center. The Blues defeated the Coyotes 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

  • #2: Vladmir Tarasenko

The St. Louis Blues were looking for offense, and they got that and more with Vladmir Tarasenko. He made his mark early; in just his first game. His first NHL shot, against All-Star goalie Jimmy Howard, found the mark, and just one period later, scored his second NHL marker on his second ever shot.  Blues fans, who have long awaited Tarasenko’s arrival, were crazy, and “Tara-Senko!” chants quickly filled the Scottrade Center. He continued to be an offensive force for the Blues for the rest of the season, ending his rookie campaign with 19 points in 38 games.

With the retirement of Andy McDonald comes a void in the Blues lineup. Tarasenko will get a chance to fill that void in 2013-14, and improve on his impressive rookie season. Tarasenko could signal the beginning of a new wave of Blues players, one that guides them to many more goals, and even a long playoff run.