With the 31st Pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft the St. Louis Blues Have Selected Klim Kostin From Dynamo Moskva in Moscow of the KHL.
About Klim Kostin
The Blues obtained this pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins when the Blues traded Ryan Reves and the 51st overall pick to the Penguins for forward Oskar Sundqvist and the 31st overall pick. Kostin is, as Craig Button describes, a “big powerful winger who attacks the net and plays inside the dots and challenges opponents to defend.”
At 6 foot 3 and 193 pounds, Kostin is a power forward who shoots left and is considered by some to be near NHL ready. He has the potential to take over games with his skill and is one of the more dynamic players to go in the first round.
— NHL (@NHL) June 24, 2017
At the Russia under-18’s Hlinka Memorial tournament he had seven points in five games but then missed time due to injury and his point production dipped. The Blues are banking that once fully recovered, he’ll be back to his 2015-16 production where he had 21 points in 30 games for HK MVD Balashikha and 15 points in 10 games for Dynamo Russia U-17’s.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt:
Kostin has first-round talent, but opinions of him vary because of the injury risk and the chances he will sign. Most in the industry have him as a first rounder. He checks in at 13th overall on my list. That factors in the risks of taking him. I’d have him third overall on my list behind Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier if it wasn’t for those risks. Someone will take a chance on Kostin. His skill and upside is too great to let slip too far.
How This Affects the St. Louis Blues’ Plans
The Blues project Kostin to be a top-six forward and were likely surprised that he was available at No. 31. In some cases, scouts had him ranked at the top of the European draft charts and many had him pegged in the top-five before injury hurt his standings.
There is a slight risk of injury with this pick and if Kostin doesn’t recover fully, the Blues may have drafted a player who doesn’t reach his full potential, but if he’s ready, he has the chance to make the team out of camp. So too, there is always the Russian factor that goes along with prospects, but for the Blues, they know that Kostin wants to play in North America under the right circumstances.
Kostin doesn’t want to play junior hockey in North America so it’s either the Blues or the AHL. “I want to play with older players,” he said through translator Dan Milstein, who also happens to be his agent. “To learn from them and develop my game.”
On right wing, the Blues have Ty Rattie and Austin Poganski inside their top-20 prospects. If Kostin is injury free, he has good chance to make an impact rather quickly.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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