2017 first-round pick was in third season with
San Antonio of the American Hockey League
ST. LOUIS -- Fans have been clamoring for it for weeks, months, even as far back to 2017 when he was first drafted, but Klim Kostin has arrived.
The Blues announced Wednesday morning they've recalled the 31st pick in the 2017 NHL Draft from the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League.
Kostin, 20, has eight points (three goals, five assists) in 14 games with the Rampage this season. The 6-foot-3, 212-pound power forward was one of a number of candidates the Blues had at their disposal to recall, including Jordan Kyrou and Nathan Walker to name a few, in light of recent injuries to Vladimir Tarasenko (dislocated left shoulder) and Alexander Steen (left high ankle sprain) and with the trade of Robby Fabbri to Detroit.
The Penza, Russia native has spent the past three seasons with the Rampage and has 60 points (19 goals, 41 assists) with 184 penalty minutes in 147 regular-season games.
Kostin has been on a trek to the NHL, but the Blues havs chosen to allow him to develop in the AHL and enable him to adjust to the North American game and adjust to a life in another continent beginning as an 18-year-old.
Blues coach Craig Berube and general manager Doug Armstrong have both spoken highly of Kostin but have been cautious with fan expectations of expecting too much too soon.
"Klim's an interesting guy because in reality, he should have played his eighth American Hockey League game the other day, but he went there as an 18- and 19-year-old," Armstrong said Monday. "I think the process in the public's eye is he's been down there a long time. He's just a kid. He's a year behind where Kyrou is. We're excited. He would like to get right into the sprint, and we're trying to slow him down a bit. He scored the other day, he looks like he's coming along and someone that certainly is on our radar screen when we need a player."
Kostin, the Blues' second first-round pick in 2017 (Robert Thomas was the 20th pick), joins the sprint as soon as Friday when he could make his NHL debut against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blues brought in veteran forwards Troy Brouwer and Jamie McGinn (each played with the Florida Panthers last season) on professional tryouts on Monday and have 10 days to decide whether they want to add them to the mix as well.
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