2017 Draft Prospect Profile: Could Klim Kostin Fall Into The Blue Jackets' Hands?
A gifted offensive skillset who missed almost all of this past season due to shoulder surgery, could Klim Kostin fall late enough for Columbus to take a gamble on him?
Current Team: Dynamo Moskva
Date of Birth: March 5, 1999
Place of Birth: Penza, Russia
Weight: 196 lbs
Kostin was once seen as a Top 5 pick, easy, heading into the 2017 NHL Draft, but that projection fell sharply when he underwent shoulder surgery in January, and that could bode well for the Jackets, who are sitting at 24th overall in the first round.
The two things you'll hear about the lefty from eastern Russia are 1.) he has speed and 2.) he can score.
But he's not just good with putting the puck home. He's a prolific passer, moves on the ice well and some scouting reports actually acknowledge that he's one to look for a pass as opposed to taking a shot. Imagine being too giving as being a negative.
If there's one area that needs work, it's his defense. It isn't a case of "he doesn't play it," it's more "he only plays it when he feels like playing it." He can be aggressive and effective on the backcheck, but again, when he feels like it.
Aside from his on-ice attributes, folks have also pointed out that he - like many Russians before him - might not sign right away with a North American team, and if there's one thing the Jackets (or anyone) wants to avoid, its using a first-round pick on a player who won't venture across the ocean.
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.
- Ben Kerr of Top Shelf Prospects
Kostin has a heap of underrated talent that was overshadowed by a difficult injury-laden Draft season. He went under the knife back in February and has made a full recovery, but at the cost of his draft stock. What you have here is a power-forward with exceptional playmaking skills. He’s not the fastest skater, but Kostin has proven to be strong on his skates in that when he has the puck, good luck getting it off of him. If you watch some of his tape, you’ll notice that he goes for the net. Kostin will pick up dirty goals off of rebounds, or dazzle you with his finishing ability.
A big-bodied power winger with strong work ethic…he can dominate for stretches with his cycle game and puck-protection skills…can carry defenders around the ice with his power and balance, or stickhandle around them with a deke or two as he goes to the net…high-energy guy, always keeps his feet moving…possesses a very quick release and has great shot selection…heads-up player who has a great work ethic and leads by example…works his tail off away from the play to get himself in position to make a play…strong intelligence and sees plays developing around him, knowing how to interject himself to provide the best opportunity…is responsible away from the puck and knows where to be to support his defenders…will be a real beast as he adds even more muscle to his impressive frame.
The No. 1 skater on the International list is center Klim Kostin (6-3, 196) of Dynamo Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League. Kostin, 17, was a plus-1 while averaging 4:28 of ice time in eight games prior to sustaining a shoulder injury that is expected to keep him out for two months.
"[Kostin] is big, strong, mobile, and has a good understanding of the game," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb said. "He had a somewhat difficult fall playing on different club and junior national teams but is so dynamic.