Originally written on Fox - The Hockey Guy  |  Last updated 9/6/12

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Vladimir Tarasenko, drafted 16th overall by the St. Louis Blues, poses for a portrait during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Vladimir Tarasenko eased onto the St. Louis sports scene with a low-key introductory news conference Thursday at the team’s practice facility. The player carrying the nickname “Tank” proceeded with great caution after his ceremonial donning of the No. 91 Blues sweater.Although he can speak enough English to get by, Tarasenko, 21, preferred using an interpreter in front of the cameras and microphones.He declined to name a favorite Russian or NHL player that he emulated while growing up. When asked which Blues player he most looks forward to playing with, he said he was eager to meet and work with them all.Which will be more difficult, adapting to the NHL or adjusting to North America? He expected each to be equally challenging.In event of a lockout, would he play in Peoria or return to Russian’s KHL? Tarasenko said he would make that decision when and if that time comes, in consultation with Blues general manager Doug Armstrong.Aside from expressing his preference to play right wing rather than the left side, he was short on specifics during his brief media session. That was probably for the best, since the Blues will proceed carefully with their hot young scoring prospect. For more on Tarasenko, check out my story on STLToday.com.

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