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2017 NHL Draft Profile: Budding power forward Klim Kostin could be the draft’s biggest question mark

The Russian forward oozes raw talent, but a lack of production and a significant injury could cause him to fall down the draft board.

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In our 2017 NHL Draft Preview, we look closely at some of the prospects that could be available when the Hurricanes draft at 12th overall on June 23 in Chicago.

Klim Kostin

  • DOB: May 5, 1999 - Penza, Russia
  • Team: Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
  • Right Wing | Shoots: L | 6’3”, 196 pounds
  • 2016-17 Stats: 8 GP - 0G, 0A, 0 Points, 27 PIM

Prospect Breakdown

Kostin had a rough 2016-17 campaign as he was sidelined for almost the entire season with a major shoulder injury. He underwent season-ending surgery after the injury which is very troubling during a draft year. However, Kostin’s raw tools have him ranked as the number one European skater by NHL Central Scouting. His large frame is tough for opposing defenders to knock off the puck and he can be a nuisance for opposing goalies, blocking their field of vision with screens in front of the net. He is a gifted stickhandler which helps him get out of tight spaces. His hockey IQ is among some of the best in this draft class.

Scouting Analysis

The obvious question heading into the draft is if Kostin’s shoulder has healed and to what was the extent of the damage. Kostin’s stock has dropped drastically after the injury and he may be a risk to pick any higher than the 20s. His raw talent may have gotten him to this point, but there is still work to be done.

Kostin must be more responsible in the defensive end and can sometimes do just a bit too much with the puck. He has the tendencies to try to create too much instead of dumping the puck off to a teammate. That said, he does skate well, and plays a strong game, but he sometimes shies away from puck battles along the boards and has been seen to turn away from the play on occasion.

Final Thoughts

At number 12 overall, the Carolina Hurricanes would be wise to refrain from picking Kostin. He has yet to confirm whether he will immediately come over to North America, although he had said before his injury that he planned to join the WHL’s Kootenay Ice next season. While the franchise’s depth at wing would improve with the selection of Kostin, he would still be - at best - a few years away from putting on a Hurricanes sweater. Kostin’s development has been stalled with the injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be the same player coming out of it.

There is very little in-between with Kostin, one of the higher-skilled players in the draft: either he becomes a steal for some team, or he becomes another version of Alex Burmistrov.