Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. It would seem like inviting Klim Kostin to camp to be one of the backup players would be a no brainer.
However, there are unknowns about him. Did he go back to Russia for the break? Can he get back or would he come back if only to be an extra?
All things equal, however, the Blues need to bring him in if he is available. Kostin had a decent year in the AHL and showed glimpses of what the Blues are expecting from him.
In 48 games in the AHL, Kostin scored 13 goals and had 30 points. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but they are personal bests in North America.
Additionally, Kostin kept his penalty minutes down this season. Normally, that’s whatever, but Kostin was morphing too much into fourth line player with his physicality and fights. That’s fine, but that’s not what the Blues drafted him for.
With him showing positive signs in the AHL that he’s grasping the North American game and what the Blues want, they need to give him another carrot. His first carrot was getting to play in the NHL this season and he showed reasonably well.
He played in four games and scored his first NHL goal. His time on the ice was kept small, but fans seemed to see enough to want more.
Kostin cannot afford to be stagnant. He needs to keep improving and evolving.
Even if he is not going to get a game, having the opportunity to practice with the NHL players is still an opportunity to learn and grow.