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Klim Kostin suffered a season ending shoulder injury in January; ending hopes that he could continue to rise up the board. Limited viewings, along with his penchant for inconsistency in those viewings could see him fall down draft boards. However, he has been a dynamic player on the international stage. With five points in six games, he led the Russians to the silver medal at the 2015 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge. He followed that up with four points in five games as an underager at the 2016 Under 18 World Championships. This summer he had four goals and seven points in five games, helping Russia to a bronze at the Ivan Hlinka. He also picked up three points in three games at the World Junior A Challenge.
Kostin has not been quite as successful at the club stage. He did not score any points in nine games in the KHL. He also only picked up one goal in eight games at the VHL level this season. However, it must be considered that the 17-year-old was getting limited ice-time, playing in men’s leagues. He was drafted first overall in the CHL Import Draft, but choose to stay in Russia instead of joining the Kootenay Ice.
Klim Kostin Scouting Report: 2017 NHL Draft #17
Right Wing — shoots Left
Born May 5th 1999 — Penza, Russia
Height 6’3” — Weight 196 lbs [191 cm / 89 kg]
Klim Kostin is an excelleng skater. He has excellent speed and acceleration. Kostin has the ability to beat defenders to the outside and then cut to the net. He also has very good lateral agility and edgework which also gives him the ability to cut inside on a defender if they are not in the proper position. Add to this a strong lower body, and the balance and power to create issues in the offensive zone, and Kostin can beat opponents in a variety of ways.
Kostin has the strength and size to play a powerful game, as he is strong on the puck; effective in maintaining possession down low; and difficult to contain when he drives the net. He is also highly skilled, with soft hands and excellent stick handling ability and a fantastic wrist shot and release. Kostin has the moves to shed defenders to create a scoring opportunity; along with snipers shot to bury the puck once he gets that open.
Kostin also has good vision and passing skills. He can make creative plays with the puck, feathering a pass to a teammate through very tight openings. Kostin also plays a gritty game, as he is not afraid to get to the front of the net, or battle for loose pucks at both ends of the ice. He could stand to be a little more selfish, and shoot the puck more as he often looks to make a pass. His biggest issue is consistency. There are games where Kostin is absolutely dominant, and looks like the best player on the ice, and one of the best players in this draft. There are also games where he seems to disappear for long stretches of time.
Inconsistent effort levels also plague Kostin at the defensive end of the ice. There are times where he looks like an intense backchecker and solid contributor in his own end. There are also times where all hope seems lost for Kostin. Fixing this issue will be a key part of Kostin’s development.
Projection and Comparison
Kostin has the potential to be a top six winger in the NHL. However, with the issues with consistency and his defensive game, there is also a lot of red flags. He looks like the classic boom or bust pick, in a draft that lacks elite talent, he could end up a real steal if he develops. However there are red flags about his inconsistent effort levels as well as his defensive game. In terms of style, Kostin plays similarly to Montreal Canadiens winger Alexander Radulov but this is a style comparison only and not based on talent.
The following is a compilation of highlights, assembled from Youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the #18 Prospect available on our draft board.