Vladimir Tarasenko – Draft Prospect Profile 2010

Christopher Ralph is a sportswriter with a focus on hockey prospects, the entry draft, as well as occasional Flames coverage here at THW.

“Full Potential” Prospect Profile:

Vladimir Tarasenko (Click on name for up- to- date stats)

Vladimir Tarasenko draft 2010
Vladimir Tarasenko {Photo: RussianHockeyFans.com}

Date of birth: December 13, 1991
Place of birth: Yaroslavl, USSR (now Russia)
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 202
Shoots: L

Position: RW
2009-10 Team: Novosibirsk (KHL)

NHL Status: Draft Eligible 2010

One-Timer:

Perhaps the biggest question when considering prospects such as Tarasenko is a phrase I have coined “Russian Roulette”, rather than simple the Russian factor which many other scouts/writers use. This places an even great emphasis on the potential risk involved with Russian prospects, even more so in recent years. (See “Russian Roulette” section below for further discussion).

A potential offensive dynamo for the NHL team that selects him, there is no doubting Vladimir’s all-around talent. In evaluating the draft years down the road, should he make the trek to North America, he could very well be discussed amongst the best players out of this draft – in the same vain as Hall and Seguin. Taking his birthplace out of the equation, I’d easily have him ranked in the top 7.  However, the strength of this draft will have teams analyzing the risk factor very tediously.

Scout’s Honor:

“Vladimir is very effective around the net with his excellent overall skill level and vision. He is a strong, mobile skater with a quick shot. He is not only a sniper, but also a good passer and playmaker. There are no real weaknesses in his overall game and he will be one of the most interesting prospects at the draft.”

– NHL Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb

“Tarasenko is an explosive offensive talent who can really be compared to a poor-man’s Ovechkin. Tarasenko loves to hit and loves to score and can do it extremely well both off the rush and with his lightning quick release. Tarasenko has the ability to bring the fans out of their seats…”
– International Scouting Services 2010 NHL Draft Guide

“[Tarasenko] is like a shark in the way he appears out of nowhere and then strikes with lethal precision around the net. Perhaps the most pure natural goal scorer among this year’s crop, and is not at all selfish with the puck either, frequently drawing double coverage to himself before dishing off a perfect pass. He’s dynamic from the circles in. But he’s the one premium talent who might be available later in the first round because of his lucrative contract in the Kontinental Hockey League.”
– Red Line Report’s Kyle Woodlief, USA Today

“He’s not the biggest kid, but he can score. But there’s no way I’m investing my first round pick in a kid where it’s 50-50 as to whether he’s going to play here.”
– A scout in The Hockey News Draft Preview 2010

Russian Roulette:

Some call it the infamous Russian Factor. Because of developments in recent years such as lack of transfer agreement and the KHL enticing players, I go as far as calling it the “Russian Roulette” Factor.

RussianHockeyFans.com offers you a translation of the most interesting quote(s) from an interview recently appeared on Sibir Novosibirsk‘s official site.

Is your contract with Sibir (KHL) valid also for the following season?
Vladimir Tarasenko: Yes, it is. But this is not the only reason. I think I should continue my career with Sibir also because of the human conditions. There are a lot of people that really helped me. First of all – my family.

Current Season:

2009-10:  Tarasenko played in Russia’s KHL, registering 24 points (13 G, 11 A8) in 42 games. Had 3 goals and 1 assists in 6 games for Russia the 2010 World Junior Championship.

Scouting Combine Performance:

  • 10th in Anaerobic Fitness: Mean Power Output (watts/kg)
  • Tied for 4th in Aerobic Fitness: Test Duration
  • 8th in Musculoskeletal: 4 Jump (Mat) Mode: Power Factor
  • 6th in Musculoskeletal: Right Hand Grip (lb)
  • Tied for 8th in Musculoskeletal: Bench Press (# of 150 lb reps)

International Tournaments:

  • Tarasenko had 15 points (8 G, 7 A) in 7 games for Russia at the 2009 Under-18 World Championship.
  • At the 2010 World Junior Championships, he tied for the team lead in goals (4) and finished third overall in points (5) while Russia finished sixth.

ETA = 23 yrs

Risk-Reward Analysis: Risk = 3/5   Reward = 4.5/5

NHL Potential: Top line scoring forward

Strengths:

  • Very quick and elusive skater
  • Magician-like puck handling skills
  • Equally adept at scoring goals and setting up teammates
  • Relentless competitor
  • Doesn’t shy away from physical play

Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:

  • Continue to train to increase strength and mass.
  • Improve acceleration

Fantasy Hockey Potential: Offensive = 9/10   Defensive = 7.5/10

NHL Player(s) Comparison: Marian Hossa, Alexander Radulov

Video(s):

Interesting Notes:  (NHL.com)

“Tarasenko’s father, Andrei, also the coach for HC Sibir, was a forward for 21 seasons in Russia. He led the Russian Hockey League in scoring with 60 points in 46 games in 1996-97, and represented Russia at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, scoring two goals in eight games.”

Other Rankings:

CSB: 2-E

ISS: 4

TSN: 11 {Bob MacKenzie}

McKeens: 20

THN: 14

THW:  20 (June  ’10) {Christopher Ralph }

Don’t miss our story on Tarasenko and how he helped make a sick child’s dream come true.

Vladimir Tarasenko
(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)