St. Louis Blues Sign First Round Pick Klim Kostin

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by Gabriel Foley

Following his release from the KHL, freshly drafted Klim Kostin has signed an entry-level contract with the St. Louis Blues. The contract’s yearly cost wasn’t disclosed, but it is three years in length. Kostin will likely be a regular in the AHL next season, and could see butchered NHL minutes if he is able to produce.

The Blues picked Kostin 31st overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Level Draft. He was released from his KHL contract with the Dynamo Moscow on Tuesday. The team was removed from the league due to financial issues. All of their players were released into free agency.

St. Louis Blues Sign First Round Pick Klim Kostin

Kostin was on the back of his first ever season in the KHL. The 18-year old forward only played in eight games, without a point, but it was significant nonetheless. Kostin was also the captain of Russia’s 2015 U17 World Hockey Championship team. During that tournament he tallied five points in six games. He went on to captain the U18 World Juniors team in 2016, getting four points in five games there.

What to Expect from Kostin

Kostin is growing into his own already. At such a young age, this could be the basis of a great NHL career for the Russian. For Blues fans wondering what to expect, Kostin could very easily become a top six forward later in his career. He’s a strong skater with a deadly accurate shot. His skating allows him to get into the shooting line and put it past the goalie with ease. Passing is also a big part of his game. Most say Kostin has room to be a bit more selfish with the puck, as he always looks to pass before he shoots.

He will still likely need at least one season in the AHL to develop, though, despite his KHL appearances. Still, he adds to what’s slowly becoming an impressive list of prospects in the Blues organization. It’s likely he ranks among the top of the list too. He could make his NHL debut in the latter part of next season if the Blues like what they see with his development. While he’s not going to light up the score board during any time up, it could be yet another important stepping stone for his career.

Draft Day Trades and Steals

Overall Kostin is a skilled leader who has found his own in recent years. Ranked as the number one European skater going into the draft, it’s surprising Kostin fell to the bottom of the first round. The Blues were able to get the last pick through a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins that sent Oskar Sundqvist and the 31st pick to St. Louis in exchange for Ryan Reaves and the 51st overall pick (Zach Lauzon). The trade was a steal for the Blues, and it’s seeming that the pick will be too. It’s too early to definitively tell though, considering Kostin still has a lot in the way of development. If he’s able to continue growing in the AHL this next season, he could very easily become a strong part of the Blues future offense.

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