The St. Louis Blues are reportedly looking into the trade market for Vladimir Tarasenko, this comes after two straight injury-riddled seasons following the 2019 Stanley Cup run.
From the Blues’ perspective, this article will look into three teams that could be interested and what packages the Blues could obtain for Tarasenko. The Blues are correct in their evaluation of Tarasenko’s play and reviewing his trade market as the Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft looms.
On top of the Blues looking into the trade market for Tarasenko, he has reportedly asked the team for a trade after the relationship between him and the franchise has fallen apart (‘Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko requests a trade, per sources: Why he wants out, possible destinations and more’, The Athletic, 07/07/2021).
There will be a lot of interested teams. It is hard to evaluate the possible price for Tarasenko with his $7.5 million cap hit, but I will try my best as we look at the three possible spots for him.
Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings are clearly in an offseason where they need to add major pieces to build around their young and old mix of players. With one of the deeper prospect pools in the league, they can make just about any trade they want this summer. They reportedly want to add two top-six forwards this summer and acquired one already with Viktor Arvidsson from the Nashville Predators.
The Blues should try to get a solid prospect and picks from the Kings, they need to re-establish their draft capital as they have just 11 picks in the next two years, a few of them within the early rounds. The Kings can take on Tarasenko’s cap hit with no issue, which is something that can’t be said about a lot of teams.
I’d like to think the Blues should try to get two players for him, with at least one of them being close to NHL-ready, but I doubt that will happen. Here’s the package I’m thinking about:
- Los Angeles Kings Receive: LW Vladimir Tarasenko
- St. Louis Blues Receive: C Tyler Madden, 2021 2nd Round Pick, 2022 2nd Round Pick
The Blues re-gain some draft capital with this trade, as well as adding a prospect that would be one of the best in the organization right away. Madden was the big piece in the Tyler Toffoli trade between the Kings and Vancouver Canucks. He is a shifty center, who played 14 games in the OHL this season with the Ontario Reign, before that he played two seasons at Northeastern University. He isn’t far away from being NHL ready at 21 years old.
The New York Rangers
The New York Rangers make a ton of sense as a landing spot for Tarasenko, they have cap space and have one of his best friends in Artemi Panarin, locked into a long-term deal. I have a feeling that a Tarasenko and Panarin line with them on the wings and Mika Zibanejad or Ryan Strome down the middle would produce magic.
Whether that is fair to say or not, I expect new Rangers’ decision-maker Chris Drury will want to aggressive this summer and if they can’t strike a deal for Jack Eichel, this could be the next they explore.
The Rangers have a plethora of young talent to move in a trade, but the question is what the Blues would want. I assume they would like to have more of a hockey trade with the Rangers, getting someone who can play right away, we’ll see what I can come up with.
- New York Rangers Recieve: LW Vladimir Tarasenko
- St. Louis Blues Recieve: RW Vitali Kravtsov, D Libor Hajek, 2022 2nd Round Pick, 2022 4th Round Pick
In this deal, the Blues would receive two young players with NHL experience and players who have not found a great fit with the Rangers to this point. Kravtsov is a Russian winger who played in 20 games this season and is a big-bodied player that can score goals, he would be a good fit for the Blues. Hajek played in 44 games this season, he’s another big-bodied player that can be a lockdown type for them if he develops more, he’s just 23 years old. These would be two huge young talent acquisitions for the franchise moving forward.
In terms of the 2021-22 season, both Kravtsov and Hajek would have the chance to break into the opening game lineup and make an impact.
The Edmonton Oilers
This is a complete wild card in the Tarasenko sweepstakes, as he isn’t a need for the Oilers, but he could return to his form playing with Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl. The Oilers have enough to get the deal done, but they would be unlikely to prioritize this over their true needs.
The Blues could use a young prospect and a veteran player with a deal like this, but it’s curious as to whether the Oilers would move any of their thin depth. The package I came up with here could be viewed as an overpay by the Oilers and a stretch by me, but that’s why we do this.
- Edmonton Oilers Recieve: LW Vladimir Tarasenko, 2022 4th Round Pick
- St. Louis Blues Recieve: D Philip Broberg, RW Zack Kassian, 2021 4th Round Pick
In this deal, the Blues would get a young, former top-ten pick from the 2019 draft in Broberg and a gritty veteran winger in Kassian. Broberg has played 89 games in the SweHL over the last two seasons and is one of the better prospects the Oilers have to offer, the Blues would be lucky to get him in this deal.
Kassian is something the Blues have been missing since their 2019 run, some of that is due to injuries, but getting a tough forward to sit in front of the net would be terrific to see again. He won’t play with McDavid as he did in Edmonton, but he could be a cornerstone bottom-six forward for the Blues, he is the type of player that winning teams need. This deal would be good for the Blues.
Does Tarasenko Get Traded Before the 2021-22 Season Starts?
I have to think yes with the way this has been trending. It appears as if the relationship between him and the team is battered to the point of no fixing. I would not be surprised if it were either pre-draft or post-draft, but the Blues could do it even before the expansion draft. Tarasenko has been a great face for this franchise, the time he has spent in St. Louis has been tremendous, but there is a point where it is time to move on. The time is now.
I have been covering sports for nearly a decade. I started with FanSided as a Baseball Contributor. Now I am writing about the NHL and the St. Louis Blues for The Hockey Writers. I grew up in Central Illinois as a huge fan of every sport. Finally, I do various podcasting across all major platforms.