In what seems to be an increasing trend, another Ontario Hockey League is leaving for Europe to start the 2012-13 season. It may have nothing to do with it, but I would take a guess that their will be an exodus across the Atlantic as labour issues heat up in North America over the summer.
The latest to change continents is Steven Tarasuk. Tarasuk will spend the 2012-13 season with Lausitzer Füchse of Germany’s 2.Bundesliga. The league is tier 2, behind the elite Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). The team plays out of Weisswasser, a town located on the border with Poland. The home arena is cozy, seating 2,750. Oh – Füchse is German for foxes…
Steven Tarasuk played four years in the Ontario Hockey League from 2006-07 to 2009-10. He began his career with the Kitchener Rangers and was traded midway through 2007-08 to the London Knights. Originally, Steven was a third round pick of the Ottawa 67’s at the 2005 OHL Priority Selection.
In his final season with London, Tarasuk totalled 67 points in 67 regular season games. The total tied him for second in the OHL for defenseman with Jake Muzzin of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, three points behind Nick Crawford who played for the Saginaw Spirit and Barrie Colts during 2009-10.
Undrafted by an NHL club, Tarasuk has spent the past two seasons mostly in the ECHL. In his first season, 2010-11, he played for the Kalamazoo Wings with a three game call-up to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Steven played in the ECHL All-Star game.
This past season, 2011-12, Steven played 58 games with the Ontario Reign and 12 with the Idaho Steelheads. His 38 combined points tied him for ninth in points for defensemen in the ECHL. Idaho finished seventh of eight in the Western Conference while Ontario finished second. The Steelheads upset the Reign in the opening round, three games to two. In the following round, the Conference semis, the Las Vegas Wranglers ousted Idaho 4-1.
As for EHC Lausitzer, they finished sixth out of thirteen teams during the 2.Bundesliga regular season. In the post season, the Füchse lost in the first round to SERC Wild Wings, four games to one.
Article from the league site (translation below):
Steven Tarasuk – Offensivstarker Verteidiger-Zugang für die Lausitzer Füchse
Eine ausländische Verstärkung für die Hintermannschaft haben die Lausitzer Füchse mit dem Kanadier Steven Tarasuk unter Vertrag genommen. Der 22-jährige Verteidiger soll freilich nicht nur in der Defensive glänzen. Aufgrund der Vorgaben verspricht man sich in Weißwasser auch eine gewisse Dominanz an der gegnerischen blauen Linie. Zuletzt absolvierte Tarasuk in der nordamerikanischen ECHL 80 Pflichtspiele für Idaho und Ontario und erzielte dabei acht Tore, bereitete 34 weitere vor. Er gehörte damit zu den offensivstärksten Defendern der Spielklasse. „Steven ist ein Verteidiger, der nach vorn Akzente setzten kann und auch defensiv wenig Fehler macht. Er hat die Fähigkeiten, höherklassig zu spielen, aber aufgrund seiner Körpergröße von 1,79 Metern ist ein kurzfristiges Engagement nicht zu erwarten. Ich glaube, dass sich Steven schnell auf die 2. Bundesliga einstellen und ein Leistungsträger unseres Teams sein wird”, so Füchse-Teammanager Ralf Hantschke.
Translation (using Google Translate):
A foreign reinforcement for the rear crew have taken the Lusatian Foxes with the Canadian Steven Tarasuk under contract. The 22-year-old defender will certainly shine not only on the defensive. Because of the requirements expected to result in white water, a certain dominance of the opposing blue line. Tarasuk last completed in the North American ECHL 80 appearances for Idaho and Ontario, scoring eight goals, 34 more prepared before. He was thus one of the strongest offensive Defendern the league. “Steven is a defender who put forward accents and makes few mistakes defensively. He has the ability to play höherklassig, but due to his height of 1.79 meters, is a short-term exposure is not expected. I think that Steven quickly on the second Premier League set to be a performer and our team is, “said team manager Ralf Hantschke foxes.