With the 31st pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, “St. Louis Blues are proud to select, from the Moscow Dynamo, Klim Kostin” -Bill Armstrong
According to Tim Taylor, the Blues’ Director of Player Development, Klim Kostin “could be an absolute steal in the draft, maybe (the biggest) I’ve ever seen. He’s an absolute beast on the ice. He’s such a big, powerful man. We were very, very impressed with his play and strength.”
I am not a professional scout, but I can judge when a player shoots harder than another, skates faster than another, and is bigger than another. Klim Kostin was all three the past 4 days at Blues prospect camp.
Klim wowed crowds with shots, passing, stick handling, skating, and physical play. Everybody was watching him, from Doug and Bill Armstrong in the private section to the general public. Every single day the fans around me pointed him out; “That’s Klim Kostin”.
It makes sense that Klim fell in the draft: He is still recovering from a shoulder surgery that all but eliminated his 2016/17 play. He was a no show for the WHL Kootenay Ice, who selected him 1st overall in the CHL import draft of 2016. At that time, Klim opted to sign a contract with the KHL’s Moscow Dynamo.
But none of that matters because he is here now, and while the KHL is struggling with payroll and contractual issues, Klim has joined a perennial contender who has a specific need for a RW. The same Klim who was ranked within the top 10 of draftees by a number of professional scouting organizations fell to 31st overall.
He is compared to Geno Malkin of the
Blackhawks Penguins for his offense first, dominant, physical presence and drive-through-you attitude.
And he seems to like our cover artist, @ferry_designs
I’m not subtracting from the development of Tage Thompson, Jordan Kyrou, or Jake Walman, but at 18 years old, Klim Kostin was better (in drills only) than all three. He had the hardest shot on the ice and showed a seek-and-destroy instinct with the puck.
I will be at the Traverse City Tournament in September to let you all know how he does.
Cover credit @ferry_designs.