It’s been quite a start to the season for Vladimir Tarasenko.
After being named the NHL’s top rookie for January, the St. Louis forward received high praise from one of the greatest Russian players of all time — Sergei Fedorov.
Fedorov, who actually played on the same team as Tarasenko during last year’s KHL All-Star game, has been following the 21-year-old closely during his first season in the NHL.
He likes what he’s seen.
“He is a very good player, so talented and with outstanding puck skills,” Fedorov told the Windsor Star. “I’m absolutely very happy that he’s gone over there and made an impact so quickly.
“I think he’s been a very impressive NHL player so far.”
While Tarasenko has gone cold as of late — scoreless in his last three — he still leads the Blues in goals (with five) and sits second among rookie scorers, with 10 points, two behind Tampa’s Cory Conacher.
Tarasenko’s also averaging close to 15 minutes a night and playing a big role on St. Louis’ top-ranked power play.
Fedorov, currently the GM of CSKA Moscow, knows that many have compared him and Tarasenko because of their similar skill sets (also, the fact Tarasenko patterns his game after Fedorov.)
He also thinks that, like himself, Tarasenko benefited from spending time in Russian league.
“I think maybe it helped him that he had the five months of the lockout to prepare for the NHL, because he announced at the start of the [KHL] season that he intended to play in the NHL when it started,” Fedorov explained.
“I thought maybe he was too young to go and it might be too tough for him, but he’s playing so well and he’s been a big star.”