The St. Louis Blues have traded winger Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Niko Mikkola to the New York Rangers, New York announced Wednesday. In return, St. Louis will receive Sammy Blais, Hunter Skinner, a conditional 2023 first-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick.
The Blues will also be retaining 50% of Tarasenko's $7.5 million salary cap hit.
As they chase their first Stanley Cup since 1994, the Rangers have been in the market for a top-six winger, and Tarasenko certainly fits that bill. Injuries have limited Tarasenko to just 38 games played this season, but in that time he has scored 10 goals while adding 19 assists.
In 2021-22, Tarasenko was healthy for most of the season and had one of the best years of his career. In 75 games played, Tarasenko scored 34 goals and set a career high in assists (48) and points (82). If he can play anywhere near that level in New York, the Rangers will be a dangerous team in the postseason.
Mikkola, in his fourth NHL season, has primarily played in a third-pairing role with the Blues. He will play a similar role with the Rangers, who waived Libor Hajek to make room for him on the roster.
On the other end of the deal, Blais will be returning to St. Louis, where he played the first four seasons of his NHL career. In 40 games this season, Blais has recorded five assists. Skinner, a low-level prospect for the Rangers, is playing for the Jacksonville Icemen of the ECHL.