2022-23 Player Review: Daniil Tarasov again had an inconsistent season marred by injury
The Russian goalie didn't get the consistent playing time he needed
Daniil Tarasov was expected to spend much of the season in Cleveland, getting consistent starts and building confidence in his play and technique before stepping into a more consistent NHL role in the 2023-24 season.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Absolutely none of that happened.
With injuries to Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo at various points throughout the season, Tarasov played just 11 inconsistent games for the Cleveland Monsters this season. Tarasov posted a 3.85 GAA in Cleveland to go along with an .882 save percentage, a 5-5-0 record, and zero shutouts. While in Columbus, he fared no better - Tarasov postd a 4-11-1 record behind a dismal lineup with an .892 save percentage and 3.91 GAA.
With Joonas Korpisalo traded and his contract subject to waivers next season, Daniil Tarasov is going to spend next season in Columbus. He has to get consistent playing time and development with the team's new goalie coach - Tarasov has only played 49 total games for the Blue Jackets' organization since coming to Columbus due to injury, inconsistency, and riding up and down I-71 due to call ups. For his professional development, he has to get consistent playing time going forward.
Games Played: 17
Games Started: 16
SV%: .892 (471 saves on 528 shots faced)
Quality Start % (games with an above-average SV%): .375
Really Bad Starts (SV% below .850): 5
Next season will be year two of a three year extension that will see him carry a cap hit of $1.05 million (1.27% of the cap). He will be an RFA with arbitration rights at the end of the 2024-25 season. According to CapFriendly, he will require waivers starting in 2023-24 which means he will certainly spend the season in Columbus.
On October 30, 2022 Daniil Tarasov made 30 saves for his first NHL win, and did so in style - Tarasov got this first win in Madison Square Garden over the New York Rangers as the Jackets won 5-1.
On October 25, 2022, Daniil Tarasov started a game in front of 14,498 fans in Nationwide Arena. Tarasov managed just 35:07 before he was changed out for Elvis Merzlikins because he allowed 4 goals on 12 shots for a .667 SV% against the Arizona Coyotes as the visitors raced out to a 4-0 lead, absolutely humiliating a hapless Blue Jackets squad. No one played well that night, but Tarasov put up a sub-.700 save percentage, by far his worst of the season, against a blatantly tanking opponent - there's no other choice.
Part of this is not Tarasov's fault - he got no consistent minutes, there were no moves by the organization to bring in a serviceable backup early in the year (was Jon Gillies not available until the deadline?) that would have allowed Tarasov the chance to stay in Cleveland. But also, when he played at either the AHL or NHL level, he was not good enough. Tarasov is an .890 goalie in 28 career AHL games and a .900 goalie in 21 NHL games. If that's the goalie of the future, the organization might want to start looking for another future.