2020-21 Team: Ladia Togliatti
Date of Birth: Sep. 25, 2002
Place of Birth: Togliatti, Russia
Ht: 6-foot-0 Wt: 168 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
One of the older players eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft, Dmitri Kostenko is a very intriguing player for many reasons. With the puck on his stick, he loves to jump into the rush and can use his quick edges and great hands in tight to create a high-end scoring chance. He reads the play well and can find teammates in the slot with a quick hard pass. He walks the blue line with confidence and is good at being patient for passing lanes to open up to get a shot through on net.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
In transition, Kostenko moves the puck up the ice with ease. He is good at being able to spot a teammate breaking through the neutral zone and hit them with a quick pass. He can also use his speed to separate himself from his opponents when under pressure.
One concern that has consistently come up around the scouting world when speaking about Kostenko is his defensive play. When defending in his own end, he often lacks effort trying to contain the opposing player or when battling for the puck in the corners. As a defender, this is definitely something he is going to have to work on in the future but something that can indeed be taught.
Dmitri Kostenko – 2021 NHL Draft Projection
Kostenko was ranked 17th amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting and I think that is a fair assessment. He won’t go in the first round but could garner some attention in the late second round or early third round if a team is high on him. I personally think he will go somewhere in the third round. The team that drafts him will definitely have a project on their hands but he could be worth it if he eventually develops.
“Kostenko can be a maddening player to watch- there is a lot of offensive skill and ability there, but there are real concerns pertaining to defensive play. He possesses one of the best sets of hands in this year’s MHL class, his passes are crisp and accurate, and his slap shot has some power behind it. However, all too often, he seems lost or unwilling to compete without the puck, especially in the defensive zone. This is only exacerbated by playing in the VHL. Additionally, while his skating looks fine when on the attack, the mechanics seem to break down a bit when reacting to an attacking player.” – Ross Martin/The Draft Analyst
” Kostenko is an interesting case of a player who clearly exhibits skill, skating, and creativity while playing on a team that has very few other players that stack up. When in the VHL, he had very little help. On the MHL club, outside of fellow 2021 draft prospect Fyodor Svechkov, there isn’t much to work with upfront. Kostenko is at his best when he is able to find himself some room with his feet and the puck on his stick and then dishing passes around the offensive zone. He plays with a bit of deception, looking off opponents and threading a no-look pass off his backhand or faking a shot and finding a teammate on the backdoor.” – Tony Ferrari/DobberProspects
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Defensive play
- Needs to add more weight
Kostenko has some really solid tools at his disposals and can make opposing players look silly with ease but he still has to round out his game before he is ready to make the jump to the pro ranks of North America. If all goes well and he develops properly, I can see him being a bottom-four defenseman who can contribute offensively and see some power-play time.
Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7/10, Defense – 6/10
My name is Mathieu Sheridan. I am a writer here at THW who covers the OHL and prospects in general.