In two years, Andrei Taratukhin helped Russia win back to back IIHF World Junior Hockey championships in 2002 and 2003. He had eight points in six games in the latter. He showed remarkable chemistry with fellow countrymen and 2001 NHL draft picks Alexander Perezhogin and Alexander Golovin. The hardworking forward from Omsk, Russia, played the next three seasons in the Russian Super League for three different teams (Avangard Omsk, Ufa Salavat, and Lokomotiv Yaroslav). His highest point total coming in his 2005-2006 season with Lokomotiv Yaroslav where he tallied 24 pts (9G,15A) in 40 games.
2006-07: After signing a two year deal with the Calgary Flames, Taratukhin played a year in the AHL with the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights. In 80 games for the Knights Taratukhin scored 17 goals and lead the team with 43 assists and tied with Dustin Boyd and Carsen Germyn for the team lead in points, with 60.
2007-08: Despite a strong rookie season in the AHL, Taratukhin headed back to Russia to play for the current league leading Ufa Salavat of the Russian Super League.
Andrei Taratukhin will not blow you away with his average and unimpressive 6’0 and 190lb size. He does, however, more then make up for it with his other qualities.
Taratukhin is a type of player who will not stand out with his individual feats but is an irreplaceable component that makes his partners look like super stars. He possesses excellent hockey sense and uses it well as a team player.
Taratukhin is also an excellent passer and his determination and great work ethic cannot be overlooked. He is the kind of a player coaches love to have, is not intimidated by a couple of hits and continues to work hard no matter what.
Taratukhin's average qualities in other categories are his main criticisms. He doesn't have the greatest shot and his skating is less than spectacular. If you consider this along with his average size, he could face problems adjusting to the more physical North American game.