New Jersey Devils: Vladimir Tarasenko Is An Interesting Trade Target

St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91): (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91): (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Jersey Devils are looking for more skill and a better presence on the ice. There are a lot of amazing players that could be available this offseason. There is some intense star power like Jack Eichel, Matthew Tkachuk, Seth Jones, and others on the market. On Tuesday, another huge name was tied to a possible trade.

St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko is willing to waive his no-trade clause for a certain set of teams. Obviously, the New Jersey Devils aren’t going to be on many teams’ lists after a rough decade. These players already have Stanley Cup aspirations, and the Devils aren’t there yet. However, with a little convincing, Tom Fitzgerald could show Tarasenko that the Devils would be a good fit.

Tarasenko still has two years left on the contract that pays him $7.5 million per year. This could be a tryout for him before going to free agency.

Obviously, it’s going to take a lot of convincing. Tarasenko is coming off an injury-riddled year where he put up the worst numbers of his career. Even in 2019-20 where he missed all but 10 games, he at least scored 10 points. Last season, he played 24 games and scored 14 points. It’s not terrible, but the output is not what we’re used to from Tarasenko.

This guy is looking for a resurrection, and the Devils might actually be the perfect spot for that. Tarasenko doesn’t need to go to a pressure-packed situation where it’s winning a Stanley Cup or else. Look at the situation in Vegas. Mark Stone had a rough playoff, and now some are wondering what is next for him and the Knights. Meanwhile,  Tarasenko will face a lot of pressure if he stays with the Blues. He won a Stanley Cup back in the 2018-19 season. His contributions in the playoffs will get most teams to wonder if they can get him. The Devils provide a unique situation.

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The Devils have a clear need in the top six with two very talented centers. Tarasenko can play with either Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. Those two centers will make him better. It’s hard to make him even better than he is, and he probably won’t hit more than the point total that he has, but he can absolutely get back to what he was.

Since Hischier played with Taylor Hall during his MVP season, neither Hischier or Hughes have played with someone with even half the skill of Tarasenko. We still saw the best out of Hughes last year despite playing with two rookies in Yegor Sharangovich and Janne Kuokkanen. Imagine if he could grow with Tarasenko?

Obviously, Tarasenko is on the older side of things as he heads into his 29-year-old season. The injuries are extremely concerning, but without those injuries, he’s probably never available. The Devils got into a similar situation with P.K. Subban, and that hasn’t exactly worked out.

Right now, Vladimir Tarasenko is figuring out the next move that’s best for his career. He probably doesn’t think the Devils would be his best move, but if he really thinks about it, it might make sense to him. It would really make sense on the ice.