Kostin was recalled from AHL San Antonio on Monday as part of the club's Black Aces. In addition, forwards Jordan Nolan and Austin Poganski and defensemen Chris Butler, Niko Mikkola, Mitch Reinke and Jake Walman have been promoted from the minors.
Kostin hasn't developed in North America quite as the team had hoped, accumulating just 22 points in 60 games to go along with a brutal minus-28 rating this season. The 19-year-old will be on the final year of his entry-level contract next season, and will likely start in the minors after his lackluster start to his career, barring a solid training camp.
Kostin scored his eighth goal of the season in AHL San Antonio's 4-1 loss to Iowa on Tuesday.
St. Louis was hoping that Kostin's play would improve dramatically after a lackluster first season in North America and it simply hasn't happened. In fact, he has actually been worse this year than last. He has just 20 points in 53 games to go along with an abysmal minus-26 rating. Kostin is far too young to give up on (he won't turn 20 years old until May) and he played very little in his draft season in his native Russia, but the early returns are not strong. All the Blues can do here is stay the course and hope his play improves over time.
Kostin scored three goals and added three assists in seven games while leading Team Russia to the bronze medal in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Kostin was the captain of Team Russia and performed well against the world's best, and he now has 14 points in 12 games at the tournament over the last two years. The 19-year-old has now returned to AHL San Antonio to finish the season. The Blues have little incentive to elevate the 19-year-old to the big club since he only has 11 points in 28 games, and if he plays 11 games in 2018-19 and 11 more next season, he'll be available for Seattle's upcoming expansion draft.
Kostin was loaned from AHL San Antonio to Team Russia for the World Junior Championship, Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Kostin has experience with Team Russia, as he scored a team-high five goals and eight points in seven games in the 2018 tournament. The 19-year-old pivot is still working on his development and hasn't been recalled to the big club yet, and he has 11 points in 28 games for San Antonio.
Kostin was recalled by the Blues on Saturday, Jim Thomas of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Kostin was recalled along with defensemen Chris Butler, Mitch Reinke and Tyler Wotherspoon, plus forwards Mackenzie MacEachern, Adam Musil and Brian Flynn. All seven spent time with the Blues this preseason but were assigned to AHL San Antonio after the first round of cuts. They may get a chance to suit up in Sunday's preseason finale against the Capitals in order to give the veterans a rest, but none stand a chance to make the 23-man roster for Opening Night.
Kostin recorded six goals and 22 assists in 67 AHL games during the 2017-18 season.
Kostin was the top-rated European prospect in the 2017 NHL Draft, so he was considered a steal at No. 31 overall. Luckily, the Blues were able to get him into their minor-league system immediately so he could adjust to the American game. However, AHL San Antonio was a co-op with the Avalanche last season, so the focus on developing Kostin was neglected compared to an exclusively St. Louis squad. The Blues are in desperate need of a top-six center, but Kostin's AHL stats don't scream that he'll be that guy right out of training camp. Still, standing at 6-foot-3 and 212 pounds, the 19-year-old will be given a shot at the 23-man roster, and his odds to make it could increase if St. Louis can't reel in a center when free agency begins July 1. The Blues will be San Antonio's sole affiliate in 2018-19, so Kostin will get the necessary development next year either way.
Kostin has two goals, nine assists and 47 PIM through 27 games for AHL San Antonio.
When the Blues drafted Kostin, a Russian national, they knew he would need some time to adjust to the smaller sheet of ice that America provides. The 2017 first-round pick is starting to get the hang of it, but it's apparent he'll need more time before getting called up to the big club. However, it's just as apparent that the Kostin holds the raw talent to be a serious threat in the NHL eventually, as he posted five goals, three assists and a plus-7 rating through five games in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. Barring more injuries to Blues forwards, Kostin likely won't get a chance with the big club this season, but his name is one to keep in mind for the future.
Kostin (lower body) was assigned to AHL San Antonio on Thursday, Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic St. Louis reports.
Kostin had a fringe chance of making the Opening Night roster, but this injury has held him back to the point that the Blues apparently feel it best to send him down to the minors for the time being. Once healthy, the Russian national could receive a recall to get another shot at the big club.
Kostin will be sidelined 7-to-10 days with a lower-body ailment.
Once given the all -clear, Kostin could be in line for a spot on the 23-man roster -- although the fact that he can be assigned to the minors without going through waivers could factor into the decision. Injuries have opened the door for several youngsters to crack the Blues' lineup and the organization will likely want to take a hard look at its 2017 first-round pick.
Kostin (shoulder) will play in next week's NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The immensely skilled forward will be eager to show off his talents after enduring an injury-plagued 2016-17 campaign with the KHL's Moscow Dynamo. However, as a prospect drafted by the Blues with a first-round (31st overall) pick in this year's draft, it remains to be seen whether he can make the grand leap from the European league to the NHL right away -- the upcoming rookie event should help paint such a picture.
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