The Rangers may again find themselves in a unique position at this year’s draft. Much like in 2007, when Alexei Cherepanov slid to the Rangers at #17 due to sign-ability problems, the #2 international skater Vladimir Tarasenko may slide to the Rangers at #10 this year. Much like Cherepanov, Tarasenko does not have a transfer with Russia. Tarasenko, the closest skater to a sure thing outside of the Hall/Seguin in the draft, may find that this transfer agreement causes his draft stock to slip, as teams don’t want to gamble on him.
In terms of skill and production, Tarasenko deserves the #2 international skater ranking. The 18 year old RW, who plays the off-wing (he is a left handed shot), is putting up great numbers in the KHL with the Novosibirsk Siber, with a line of 13-11-24 in 42 games. That may not seem like much, but considering the seniority style of play in the KHL, thus severely limiting the young Tarasenko’s ice time, those are solid numbers.
The HockeysFuture blurb about Tarasenko’s skating ability is hard to ignore:
A dynamic and unbelievably skilled offensive player, Tarasenko is as dangerous as they come around the puck…and away from it for that matter.
Tarasenko is decently sized at 5’11 200 lbs, and according to Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting, “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.”
The Rangers will luck out if Tarasenko does indeed drop in the draft due to transfer agreement issues. He is truly an elite talent in the draft. He is incredibly gifted offensively, but plays a two-way game and can find the open ice with relative ease. The Rangers organization, in addition to lacking any elite talent, is incredibly weak at the RW position. The Rangers have shown in the past that they are not worried about a lack of transfer agreement, so if he is available at #10, you can expect the Rangers to sprint to the podium to call him name.
S/t to Adam Rotter at SNYRangersBlog."Tarasenko Stock Slipping, May Slide to Rangers at #10",