TARASENKO TRADE BREAKDOWN

2023-02-09 · 2 min read · NHL/Hockey
St Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports | Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Long-time St Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko has been traded to the New York Rangers. The Blues are receiving winger Sammy Blais, prospect Hunter Skinner, a conditional first round pick in 2023 draft and fourth round pick in the 2024 draft. The Rangers alongside Tarasenko, will also receive defenceman Niko Mikkola. Interestingly Blais played for the Blues in his first few seasons before being traded to the Rangers along with a second-round pick for Pavel Buchnevich in 2021.
Tarasenko, has spent his whole career for the Blues after being drafted with the 16th overall pick of the 2010 draft. The 31-year-old is in the final year of an eight-year contract he signed with the Blues July 2015, had a full no-trade clause. The 31-year-old forward has 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 38 games this season. Tarasenko had 82 points last season (34 goals, 48 assists) in 75 games after only playing 34 games the previous two seasons. Tarasenko has 553 points (262 goals, 291 assists) in 644 regular-season games, scoring at least 33 goals in five consecutive seasons (2014-19); including an NHL career-high 40 in 2015-16. The Russian native is fifth in Blues history in goals and points, while sitting second with 41 postseason goals, behind only legend Brett Hull. Tarasenko played a major role in the 2019 playoffs, where the Blues captured the franchises only Stanley Cup. He was second on St. Louis with 11 goals and led all players in playoff shots with 90.
The Blues have lost five straight games, and are sixth in the Central Division, nine points behind the third-place Avalanche, who hold the final playoff spot from the division. The Rangers, despite being 10-2-2 since the calendar flipped to 2023, are third in the Metro division, four points behind New Jersey for second place. The conditional first-round pick going to the Blues will be the later of the two that the Rangers currently have (they have the Dallas Stars 1st round pick from a previous deal). The 2024 fourth-round pick becomes a third-round pick if the Rangers make the playoffs this season.
Overall, this deal makes sense for both teams as the Blues receive a solid haul for an ageing scorer in the final year of his contract, who reportedly requested a trade back in 2021; while the Rangers add scoring and depth to a contending team. The Blues who are basically already playing for next season, as they only have a 2.5% chance of making the playoffs, get to start acquiring assets and move a guy they had almost no chance of keeping beyond this season. The Rangers meanwhile add some needed offensive punch and a proven playoff performer, to a team that wants to make a serious run at the cup, after going six games deep in the eastern conference final last year. The Blues are also retaining half of Tarasenko's cap hit, keeping the Rangers from going over the limit.
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By: Chase Howard

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