Professional team: Moscow Dynamo (KHL)
2016-17 stats: 8 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points
Size: 6-foot-3, 196 pounds
Born: Penza, Russia
Central Scouting rank: No. 1 (Europe)
What to know: It’s stereotyping to label a Russian player as an “enigma.” That said, like talented forwards from Maxim Afinogenov to Ilya Kovalchuk to Alexander Semin to Valeri Nichushkin, there’s no telling what can happen with Kostin.
Despite a year to forget, Kostin still finished as the top-ranked European prospect. The reason? His five-game showing at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. As Russia’s captain in the under-18 tournament, Kostin was a beast. He had four goals, seven points and 29 penalty minutes, dominating his peers with talent and force. He got the call up to the Kontinental Hockey League, but shoulder surgery derailed his season.
His career plans are unknown, though he said he would like to play in North America next year. He was the No. 1 pick of the Canadian Hockey League import draft, but he elected to stay home rather than go to Kootenay. After totaling one goal and one assist in 18 games in three Russian leagues, it was a decision that hurt his stock.
Still, Kostin shows elite talent. He had 35 goals and 66 points in 33 games in Russia’s under-16 league in 2014-15.
They said it: “Kostin is a big, strong, mobile power forward who plays a physical game. He is a strong skater with good speed, very good hockey sense and is an excellent competitor.” – Goran Stubb, NHL director of European scouting.
The Buffalo News is profiling prospects leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 23-24 in Chicago.