It’s comically early, but so far, Vladimir Tarasenko is making an empathic argument that he was worth the wait for the St. Louis Blues.
The 21-year-old kept the momentum going from a two-goal night on Saturday, helping his Blues squeak by the Nashville Predators with a 4-3 shootout win on Monday thanks in large part to his three points.
Tarasenko is currently tied for the league lead in points at five with Marian Hossa, Martin St. Louis and Thomas Vanek.
You can check out his fancy first NHL goal from the season-opener here, while this assist on an Andy McDonald goal might just be his best Monday highlight:
Here’s his lone tally of the night, for argument’s sake. (NHL.com‘s cute headline: “A patient Vlad.”)
OK, that was pretty nice, too.
Obviously we’re just on day three of the season, but the Russian’s exhilarating start should make him an early leader in the Calder Trophy race.
He might need more ice time to keep his production level high, though. As you can see from his early numbers, he’s making the most of his chances:
Game 1: two goals, five shots and a +1 rating in 13:52 time on ice.
Game 2: one goal, two assists, three shots and a +1 in 14:54 minutes.
To provide some context: 2012 Calder Trophy winner Gabriel Landeskog averaged 18:36 minutes per game. Tarasenko also has great competition in a pretty stacked first-year class.
Scoring five points every two games is too much to ask, but do you believe that Tarasenko will remain atop the rookie race by the end of the season?