It hasn’t taken long for relative newcomer Klim Kostin to endear himself to Edmonton Oilers fans.
Likewise, it appears.
Kostin, who was acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenceman Dmitri Samorukov in October, has quickly established himself as a bit of a cult hero with the home side.
“The fans are the most important thing in our sport,” Kostin said, according to Jason Gregor of TSN 1260. “Everything we do is for the fans. I’m really happy they love me, and I want them to know I love them more than they do me.”
I asked Kostin if he's noticed the love Oilers fans have shown him online?
"The fans are the most important thing in our sport. Everything we do is for the fans. I'm really happy they love me, and I want them to know I love them more than they do me."
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) January 5, 2023
Kostin, the No. 31 pick of the Blues in the 2017 NHL Draft, has done everything behind the scenes from poking the butt-end of his stick as a mock “mic” into media scrums to questioning veteran reporters about their interview skills since joining Edmonton on a full-time basis in November.
Perhaps equally important is the punch he’s been able to give the Oilers, both literally and figuratively.
“I think for Klim, what’s great about him is he’s someone who has taken advantage of his opportunity,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft told media Thursday. “First-round pick. Didn’t work out for him in St. Louis for whatever reason. Gets traded to a different organization. Starts in the American league. Works his way up.
“I didn’t know very much about him…I’d seen a little bit of film on him. He’s come up and taken a little bit more of the ice time pie as he’s worked his way through.”
He’s worked his way all the way through to Edmonton’s top line.
The 23-year-old is expected to skate on a line with Zach Hyman and captain Connor McDavid when the Oilers host the New York Islanders at Rogers Place on Thursday night, according to Tony Brar of Oilers TV.
Klim Kostin will be on a line with McDavid and Hyman tonight. #Oilers
— Tony Brar (@TonyBrarOTV) January 5, 2023
It’s a bit of a reward for the winger who has five goals, nine points, and a fight this season.
“He’s a big body,” Woodcroft said. “He goes hard to the net. He’s got good hands in tight. And when he plays direct and simple he’s an effective player.”