2014 Arch Awards: St. Louis MVP Nominees

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Vladimir Tarasenko: 22-year-old Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko has had quite the 2014, coming on strong during the latter portion of the 2013-14 season and then starting the 2014-15 season at an even more torrid pace. After the first of the year, Tarasenko had seven goals and 12 assists over his final 25 games. After suffering a hand injury, he missed the rest of the regular season, but came back and had four goals during the Blues’ six-game playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks, including a two-goal performance in Game 4.

This year, Tarasenko really has cemented himself among the NHL’s elite, seeming to find a way to make himself noticeable in every game. It’s not just the fact that Tarasenko has 17 goals and 14 assists over his first 29 games, but that he’s doing it in such incredible fashion. It’s hard to argue that any Blues player has had as many beautifully brilliant shots in such a short period of time since Brett Hull left St. Louis.
Tarasenko, who has won both the NHL’s First and Third Star of the Week awards at points this season, has not only stepped up his own performance, but elevated those around him. His two linemates for the majority of the season, Jaden Schwartz and Jori Lehtera, are tied for second in points on the team with 21, and they’ve been extremely productive when playing alongside Tarasenko.

Tarasenko is quickly turning into a superstar, and if he keeps up the level of performance that he’s shown in 2014, he could be the key piece in a Blues playoff run.

Next: Shane Ray, Missouri Tigers