5 players who could be next year’s Ryan Johansen

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Mar 11, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) skates with the puck against the Dallas Stars during the second period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Vladimir Tarasenko, Right Wing, St. Louis Blues

Tarasenko came over from the KHL before the 2012-13 season and had an immediate impact. So far, he’s scored 29 goals in 102 games in his first two NHL seasons. Last season, he put up 43 points in just 64 games.

The Blues’ first round playoff series against the Blackhawks was really his coming out party. He scored four goals in six games and often looked like the most dangerous player on the ice not named Patrick Kane.

Tarasenko may be playing in a defensive system in St. Louis, but he has all the tools to be a 40-goal scorer as early as this season, assuming he stays healthy for a full season.

If he does, the Blues better make sure they lock him up sooner rather than later. It’s all but a certainty that if Tarasenko becomes a star in the NHL, his old KHL buddies will offer him a small fortune to return.

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