Jan 16, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT
The second-youngest player named to the Russian Olympic team, Vladimir Tarasenko is still in a state of disbelief.
“I still can’t believe it,” Tarasenko said, per NHL.com. “It’s a dream of everybody in Russia to make the Olympics. The Olympics is the highest point of hockey. I’m so excited right now.”
Of the players on the Russian team, only Dallas’ 18-year-old rookie, Valeri Nichushkin, is younger than Tarasenko who — at age 22 — is enjoying a tremendous sophomore campaign in St. Louis. Tarasenko sits third on the Blues in goals, with 15, and is averaging over 15 minutes a night after getting around 13-and-a-half during his rookie year.
Tarasenko figures to be a key cog for the Russians in Sochi. The team is top-heavy at forward but will need contributions from all four lines, especially when matched up against teams with depth on defense. As for what kind of role Tarasenko will fill? Blues GM Doug Armstrong says he could play one similar to that of his high-energy teammates in St. Louis.
“I said it at the time and I’ll say it again: He’s the Russian version of T.J. Oshie with his attitude,” Armstrong explained. “He’s smiling, happy, loves hockey, wants to be around the rink.”
- Kovalev compares Subban to Leetch, says he isn’t worth the money 16
- Under pressure: Rick Nash 4
- Wang sells Isles to ex-Caps owner Ledecky 41
- Report: MLSE CEO Leiweke to step down (Update: Leiweke denies move) 5
- Report: Bertuzzi-Moore case settled out of court (Update: Bertuzzi’s lawyer confirms) 34
- Poll: Will Washington get back into the playoffs? 28
- Buffalo lands next two NHL scouting combines 23
- Under Pressure: In Washington? Take your pick 24
- It’s Washington Capitals day on PHT 42
- It’s Florida Panthers day on PHT 8