30-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Andrei Kostitsyn Contract Information:
Kostitsyn signed a one-year deal with Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL in June of 2013.
Kostitsyn will pursue a return to the NHL this summer, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports.
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Andrei Kostitsyn: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Andrei Kostitsyn.
Kostitsyn brings with him the burden of expectations and hasnít fulfilled the promise he showed in his 53-point season in 2007-08. He was pretty inconsistent last season, but played well in the final months and into the playoffs, and was re-signed to a one-year deal in the offseason. He started showing consistency when coach Jacques Martin dropped him to the third line with Lars Eller. If youíre a believer in players playing hard in their contract year, then Kostitsyn, who becomes unrestricted next summer, might be your man.
Kostitsyn had a very discouraging season in 2009-10, appearing in only 59 games. Dealing with knee surgery in January, he finished the year with 15 goals and 18 assists for a very disappointing 33 points. A lot was expected of him last year with the loss of Alex Tanguay and Saku Koivu, but unfortunately he was injured and it caused him to struggle throughout the season. Let's not forget he was a heavily touted prospect out of Russia, and if he can remain healthy he is primed to have a bounce-back season lined up with Thomas Plekanec and Michael Cammalleri.
The very talented 23-year-old is coming off a down year with his point total dropping from 53 to 41 and his plus-minus dropping from plus-15 to minus-7. He should see more playing time with all of the front line losses, so this could be a breakout season for him. He was very streaky last season, so if he can show more consistency with his added experience, he will prove to be a great player.
Andrei, taken 10th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, began giving the Habs a solid return on their investment last season. Kostitsyn's career-changing first full season in the Show was electric. His rapid ascension from potential NHL'er to top-six forward was spearheaded by his insertion on the Habs' second line with Kovalev on the right flank and Tomas Plekanec at center. Kostitsyn scored 45 points in 55 games after his promotion and the line took off, essentially elevating that trio to first-line status production-wise. Kostitsyn, who finished 2007-8 with 26 goals and 53 points, has the trappings to be a decent late-round pick in 12-team leagues as a possible No. 2 left winger with 30 goal/60 point potential.
Once Montreal recalled Kostitsyn and gave him some serious ice time, the Canadiens became a better team. Kostitsyn has loads of offensive talent with his two greatest assets being his speed and puck handling. After scoring 11 points in just 22 games with Montreal, the club would be wise to give him a top six forward spot next season along with lots of power-play ice time. If that happens, Kostitsyn could finish with 25 goals and around 60 points when all is said and done. He is a player to keep in mind late in fantasy drafts this season.
Kostitsyn should be the first player in line for a promotion when any injury strikes on the first three lines. Kostitsyn had a good preseason with two goals and two assists in five games but was beaten out by 19-year-old Guillaume Latendresse. If Latendresse proves to be too green, it will be a short stay in the minors for Kostitsyn. Ultimately it will take more than just one roster move for him to have any impact this year but he does have offensive talent that could blossom with the right linemates and commensurate ice time.
Kostitsyn could be one year away from having an impact, but then again he might make his presence felt in the NHL this season. The former first round pick had a good year with the farm club in í04-í05, but there was definitely room for improvement in finishing plays. His shot accuracy is very good, itís his ability to get by NHL defensemen that is in question at this point.