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Edmonton Oilers player review and 2023-24 preview: Klim Kostin
By Cam Lewis6 months ago
Welcome to the 2022-23 season review and 2023-24 season preview player-by-player! In this article and other articles, we’ll be reviewing the 2022-23 season of Edmonton Oilers players and previewing their 2023-24 season.
Klim Kostin’s 2022-23 season…
The St. Louis Blues selected Kostin in the first round of the 2017 draft but he didn’t get his first extended look with the club until the 2021-22 season. Kostin played in 40 games for the Blues that season and he scored four goals and nine points while logging an average of 9:01 per night.
The big Russian didn’t crack the Blues roster out of training camp in 2022-23 and he wound up clearing through waivers. Not long after, St. Louis dealt Kostin to the Oilers in exchange for one of his teammates from Russia’s World Junior teams in 2018 and 2019, defenceman Dmitri Samorukov.
Kostin started off the season with the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL and was called up when Evander Kane went on the Long-Term Injured List in November. With Zack Kassian moved the following off-season as a cap dump and Kane on the shelf, Kostin gave the Oilers a much-needed physical presence, throwing big hits and crashing the other team’s net.
He wound up scoring 11 goals and 21 points over the course of 57 regular season games and chipped in with three goals and five points during Edmonton’s playoff run in the spring. Kostin’s biggest performance as an Oiler game in their series-clinching Game 6 victory over the L.A. Kings, in which he scored two goals and picked up an assist on the game-winner.
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Kostin’s breakout season meant he was going to command a raise on the one-year, $750k contract that he had signed with the Blues in the summer of 2022. With Ryan McLeod and Evan Bouchard also in need of new deals, Kostin became a salary cap casualty in Edmonton.
The Oilers moved him and Kailer Yamamoto to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Future Considerations, which is just a fancy way of saying nothing. The Wings signed Kostin to a two-year contract worth $2 million annually and bought out the final season of Yamamoto’s deal.
From Edmonton’s perspective, getting that level of production from Kostin on a league-minimum salary was a huge win but there was some risk to handing out a substantial raise to a player who boasted a 19.6 shooting percentage.
Whether Kostin can maintain his level of production or not is a question for Detroit, but the Oilers are undoubtedly going to miss his presence as a guy who could quickly change the momentum in his team’s favour with a big hit or a scrap.
Somebody else will have to fill the power-forward role that he did in Edmonton’s bottom-six. Young wingers Dylan Holloway and Raphael Lavoie are options to do so while other names will surely appear on the waiver wire closer to the start of the season.
Previously in this series…
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