Blues sign with highly-touted F Tarasenko

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has agreed to a three year entry level contract with forward Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko, who was drafted by the Blues in the first round (16th overall) of the 2010 Entry Draft, is ranked by as the world’s top prospect outside of the NHL. (Blues forward Jaden Schwartz is eighth overall on that list).

“Vladi is coming off his best season as a professional and we are excited that he has decided to join our organization,” said Armstrong. “He has shown significant growth in his years in the KHL and we look forward to him taking his game to the next level as a St. Louis Blue.”

Tarasenko, 20, appeared 39 games with Novosibirsk Siber of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and led the club with 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) before being traded and posting nine points (five goals, four assists) in 15 games with St. Petersburg SKA in 2011-12. Overall, the 6’0, 202-pound forward has spent the past four seasons in the KHL recording 100 points including 52 goals and 48 assists in 176 games.

In international play, Tarasenko has represented Russia three times including serving as the team’s captain at both the 2011 World Championships and World Junior Championships. At the World Juniors, the Yaroslavl, Russsia native ranked second overall with 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in seven games including scoring the game-tying goal and assisting on the game-winning goal in Russia’s victory over Canada in the Gold Medal game. Overall, Tarasenko has made 19 international appearances totaling 17 points including nine goals and eight assists.