Due to the fact that Kostin didn’t play much at all last season it’s unlikely he’s going to the AHL — in all probability he’s bound for the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, who selected him first overall in the CHL import draft in 2016. Kostin will surely also benefit from his first NHL training camp, where he can get used to playing on the North American size ice.
They don’t make centermen much bigger than Tage Thompson. The first-round pick of the Blues back in 2016 is a whopping 6-foot-5 and weighs 200 pounds. He spent most of last season playing for the University of Connecticut before being moved up to the AHL for 16 regular season games and 10 games in the postseason. He was also a member of the USA World Junior team, scoring five points in seven games.
Tage Thompson (courtesy UConn Athletic Communications)
Thompson had a fantastic season with Connecticut, scoring 32 points in 34 games. Unfortunately for him, that consistency didn’t translate to direct success with the Chicago Wolves in the AHL where he only managed two points in his 16 regular season games. His numbers did fare slightly better once the playoffs started though, he had a total of three points in those 10 games.
Based on his performance in the AHL last season, it’s fair to assume that this year won’t be the year that Thompson makes the jump to the big club. That being said, the future is bright for him.
He showed at university he has the ability to score and his size is certainly an advantage in an era where players seem to keep getting bigger and bigger. He also already knows how to play a discipline game. In his regular season games with the Wolves last season Thompson only took a single penalty. Another couple years in the AHL to work on his game and he may be ready to challenge for a spot on the Blues though.