Rangers land Vladimir Tarasenko in first big splash of NHL trade season
Vladimir Tarasenko had wanted out of St. Louis for a couple of years, and he finally got his wish on Thursday when he was dealt to the New York Rangers, along with defenseman Niko Mikkola, in exchange for Sammy Blais, Hunter Skinner and two draft picks.
Clearly, the Rangers are letting the rest of the NHL know that they intend to go for it this season, but what is the team getting in Tarasenko and how much does it help their chances of winning a Stanley Cup in 2023?
Injuries have limited Tarasenko to just 117 games played over the last four seasons, but prior to that, he was one of the best goal scorers in the NHL for from 2014-15 through 2018-19. In fact, only Alex Ovechkin had more even strength goals during that stretch.
Many wondered if Tarasenko would ever regain form, but he just that in 2021-22, scoring 34 goals and 82 points in 75 games. He has only played 38 games so far this season, but with 111 points in his last 113 games, I’d say Tarasenko is back.
From a betting perspective, New York’s odds of winning the Stanley Cup were already kind of inflated, so this move alone isn’t enough to create value, but the team is definitely better off for it, especially on offense.
Best NHL Player Prop Bets for Friday, February 10th
Vladimir Tarasenko Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (-125)
The newest member of the Rangers is set to slot in alongside Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin on the top forward line in his debut. He isn’t going to be on the top power play unit, but he will be on the second unit with Filip Chytil.
Tarasenko loves to shoot, and although he hasn’t been doing it as much in recent seasons, this is a player who was averaging almost four shots per game prior to getting bit by the injury bug, and in 2021-22, he led the Blues in shots per 60 minutes.
The 31-year-old Russian winger has been generating more than 11 shots per 60 over the last month, and if he keeps up that pace, he might end up being the best shot generator that the Rangers have at their disposal.
Tarasenko has registered three or more shots in eight out of his last 13 games and I’m willing to bet that his new coach will advise him to keep things simple and do what he does best while he attempts to fit into a new system.
All bets tracked via third-party app Betstamp.