(HockeyStL) -- It’s not often someone endures the type of build up that Vladimir Tarasenko has coming into this season. And when most do receive that amount of hype, rarely does that individual live up to it.
You see it all the time. Fans and the media want to anoint someone as the next great superstar just because it’s fun to do. What fun would sports be if there were only mediocre wannabes running around?
But what the 21-year old Tarasenko has done this year, so far anyway, is nothing short of extraordinary. I mean, he’s been absolutely everything that this organization has been hoping for and more.
Take last night for instance. Goodness. That goal he scored in the first period against Columbus was out of this world. The way he received the puck in the Blue Jackets zone, collected himself, stopped on a dime to change direction and fired it past the goalie was, well, how do we say this?
Let’s just say you can’t teach that.
It’s just pure, raw talent that is only given to a small finite number of people in this world.
And Vladimir Tarasenko is one of those guys who was lucky enough to receive it.
At this moment, the Russian’s five goals are tied for third in the NHL and most among rookies. He’s got nine points and has a plus-minus of six. Someone with his age with his experience level just isn’t supposed to be doing this.
I’m not going to suggest he’ll score 40-goals this shortened season or anything or that he’ll continue this ridiculous pace that he’s set for himself. Regression is expected. And we’ll find out a lot about Tarasenko when he struggles to produce points for a few games in a row.
You don’t find out someone’s true nature until they face adversity. And this kid just hasn’t faced any yet.
But, for now? Goodness. It looks like the Blues might have found themselves - in the future anyway - one of the best young players in the NHL.