On Wednesday, Blues fans were given a bit of a surprise by GM Doug Armstrong, when he announced that 2017 first round pick Klim Kostin has been called up from the Blues AHL affiliate the San Antonio Rampage. Kostin was drafted 31st overall but his pick origionally did not belong to the Blues. It was instead traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins along with Oscar Sundqvist in exchange for Ryan Reaves and the 51st overall pick the same year.
Kostin did not have the path to North American that most people expected, despite being drafted first overall in the CHL import draft. He elected to stay in Russian after stating he had no desire to play in the junior leagues in North America because he, “wants to play with older players to develop and learn from the others and excel at the game”. Thanks to a major contract violation by Dynamo Moscow in July of 2017 they were forced to release all of their players from their contracts which opened the door for Kostin to make his trip to North America a bit earlier than expected.
Since coming over from Russia, Kostin has played 147 games for the Rampage, accumulating 19 goals and 41 assists including three goals and five assists in 14 games this year. Kostin is being called up to a team that currently doesnt seem to have a spot for him. With 12 healthy forwards and two veterans on PTO’s it will be interesting if Kostin can crack the lineup and make his NHL debut.