The New York Rangers acquired forward Vladimir Tarasenko from the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.
In return, the Blues are reportedly receiving winger Sammy Blais a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, Sammy Blais, and Hunter Skinner. Defenceman Niko Mikkola is going with Tarasenko to the Rangers.
The 31-year-old is in the final year of his eight-year contract that comes with a $7.5-million cap hit. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Blues will retain 50 per cent of Tarasenko’s salary.
The conditions for the first-round draft pick going to St. Louis are that they will receive the later of the two Rangers’ first-round picks (they also own the Dallas Stars’ pick). If the Stars finish with the top-10 pick it will shift to the 2024 NHL Draft.
The 2024 fourth-round will become a third-rounder if the Rangers qualify for the playoffs.
In 38 games this season, Tarasenko has 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points.
Joining the Blues as the club’s 16th-overall pick back in 2010, Tarasenko has been a key cog in St. Louis’s offensive machine for the past decade, putting up a career-best 40 goals in 2016, nearly reaching that mark on two other occasions, and topping 30 goals six times in total. He played a central role in the Blues’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2019, leading the team in scoring as it made its unexpected climb up the standings in the latter half of the season.
In 2021, Tarasenko requested a trade out of St. Louis. According to longtime Blues beat writer Rutherford, the request stemmed from the winger’s frustration with how his shoulder surgeries were managed by the Blues’ team doctors.
Despite the request, and his availability for the 2021 expansion draft, Tarasenko remained with the club and put up a career-best offensive showing in 2021-22, scoring 34 goals and 82 points in 75 games.