2008-09: Daniil Tarasov skated for Dynamo Moscow’s second team in Russia as a 17-year-old. In 39 games he scored 14 goals with 22 assists and had 40 penalty minutes. Dynamo finished third in the First League Center Division. Tarasov scored 3 goals with 2 assists and had 6 penalty minutes in five playoff games.
2009-10: Tarasov appeared in two games with the USHL’s Waterloo Blackhawks in his first season in North America and led the Cape Cod Cubs to the championship of the International Junior Hockey League. He was +2 with no points or penalty minutes in his brief stint with Waterloo. Tarasov scored 6 goals with 6 assists in 15 regular season games — receiving a dubious suspension that kept him out most of the season. Tarasov scored five goals in the league’s championship game and was named Playoff MVP.
2010-11: Tarasov was the second-leading scorer for Indiana in his first USHL season playing on a line with Blake Coleman (New Jersey) and Brian Ferlin (Boston). In 57 games he scored 37 goals with 38 assists and was +34 with 46 penalty minutes. The Ice finished third in the Eastern Conference and advanced to the playoff quarterfinals. Tarasov scored 2 goals with 4 assists and was -1 with 6 penalty minutes in five playoff games.
2011-12: Tarasov attended training camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins but was not signed and returned to the USHL for his second season. Tarasov led Indiana in scoring playing alongside Sharks prospect Sean Kuraly and his 88 points were second only to Lincoln’s Kevin Roy (Anaheim), who led the USHL with 104 points. Tarasov scored 47 goals with 41 assists in 60 games and was +31 with 86 penalty minutes. The Ice finished second in the Eastern Conference and reached the playoff semifinals. Tarasov scored 5 goals with 5 assists in six playoff games and was +10 with 8 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Tarasov made the jump directly from the USHL to pro hockey — signing an AHL contract with the Worcester Sharks. A healthy scratch early in the year, Tarasov appeared in one game in November before being loaned to the ECHL’s San Francisco Bulls. He returned to Worcester following the NHL lockout and was one of the team’s leading scorers. In 43 AHL games he scored 14 goals with 14 assists and was an even plus/minus with 20 penalty minutes. Worcester missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Atlantic Division. In 17 ECHL games with San Francisco he scored 3 goals with 11 assists and was +5 with 2 penalty minutes. Tarasov signed a two-year entry-level contract with San Jose as a free agent in April, 2013.
2013-14: Tarasov skated in 47 games for San Jose AHL affiliate Worcester — struggling to avoid injury in his first full season with the team. He scored 17 goals with 14 assists and was +2 with 40 penalty minutes. The Sharks missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Atlantic Division.
2014-15: Tarasov made his NHL debut with the Sharks in a February 5th game against Vancouver — recording an assist — and played in five NHL games during the season. He had 1 assist and was +2 with no penalties, averaging 7:34 minutes of ice time for San Jose. Tarasov skated in 54 AHL games for the Worcester Sharks. He scored 16 goals with 17 assists and was -4 with 27 penalty minutes. The Sharks finished third in the Atlantic Division, falling to Hershey in a first-round playoff series. Tarasov had 3 assists and was -3 with 2 penalty minutes in the four-game series. Tarasov was tendered a qualifying offer by San Jose before signing a contract to play for Dynamo Moscow in the KHL in 2015-16 in July 2015.
Daniil Tarasov is an offensive dynamo. He possesses very good puck skills, highlighted by his effortless stickhandling ability. His ability to handle and control the puck at top speeds makes him a dangerous threat on the ice. At the same time he is small and has been inconsistent at times in terms of competing. He tends to shy away from physical play but is not afraid to mix things up along the boards. He is good enough to one day play in the NHL, but he will need to remain consistent and improve upon his defensive reliability.
Tarasov was tendered a qualifying offer by the Sharks in July 2015 before signing with Dynamo Moscow. He will play the 2015-16 season in the KHL and his game may be more suited to that league. The playmaking Russian has some defensive deficiencies and due to this one dimensional side of his game he stands to be a top-six or bust-type NHL player.