Still listed as the NHL’s #1 European skater of 2016-17, Klim Kostin has everything a team could want in a prospect going into the draft.
Compared to Evgeni Malkin, Kostin boasts a big, stable frame, good skating, pretty good shot, uses his size to his advantage to keep the puck, good hands, drives play pretty well, can take over an entire offensive shift...and if you’re hurting for marketable superstars he certainly at least has the look of a young guy you could put on posters with a comic book hero name.
However, a big part of why he’s even an option at 18 is because his draft year was the stuff of nightmares: a season ending shoulder injury, a generally unproductive 18 pro level games, going all the way from Dynamo Moscow in the KHL to the MHL, and previously having been the WJC/World Champions captain for Russia, he didn’t receive an invitation after an unproductive Canada/Russia series in November.
Kostin’s got all the tools to be a player lots of scouts and fans like, such as size, commitment to rushes, scoring ability, and also has all the red flags lots of scouts/fans dislike...like his “russian factor” (he didn’t play for the Kootenay Ice when asked), general inconsistency on the backcheck (he can, he just chooses not to on some shifts), and now the injury risk that’s presented itself. He had a pretty good year prior, but there’s a lot here in his game that suggests that he might be a little too risky for a team trying to get back to contendership that is also trying to boost their winger depth. To be honest, I think his miserable year means he might end up falling out of the first round entirely.
But then again...Don Sweeney is pretty willing to take a chance on players his scouts think might go off and he’s been vindicated at least twice on those decisions. Picking Kostin would mean once again playing the long game with a prospect, but if he ends up developing the tools he happens to sport then there’s no reason to believe Kostin won’t be a hell of a steal if a team is willing to be patient with him.
- Ranked #19 by Hockeyprospect.com
- Ranked #16 by ISS Hockey
- Ranked #14 by Future Considerations
- Ranked #21 by McKeen's Hockey
- Ranked #1 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
Position: Right Wing
Weight: 196 lbs.
Team: Dynamo Moscow in the KHL
Klim Kostin Statlines
|2014-15||Dynamo Moscow U16||Russian U16's||33||35||31||66||46|
|2015-16||Dynamo Moscow U17's/HK MVD Balashikha||Russian U17's/MHL||40||18||18||36||92|
|2016-17||Dynamo Moscow/Dynamo Balashikha/HK MVD Balashikha||KHL/VHL/MHL||18||0||1||1||2|