Blues’ Tarasenko starts season on fire


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?

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)