A day after non-tendering him, the Red Wings have agreed to terms with winger Klim Kostin, announcing (Twitter link) that they’ve signed him to a two-year contract. The deal will carry an AAV of $2MM.
The 24-year-old was acquired at the draft from Edmonton along with Kailer Yamamoto (who was later bought out) in exchange for future considerations. The move allowed Detroit to get a head start on contract negotiations and while it might have taken a little longer than they would have liked, they were able to get a deal in place. By non-tendering Kostin, the Red Wings eliminated the risk of a higher-than-desired salary arbitration award.
Last season was an interesting one for the 24-year-old. After failing to crack St. Louis’s roster in training camp, Kostin was placed on waivers and went unclaimed, allowing him to be sent to the minors. That actually upped his trade value and the next day, Edmonton moved blueliner Dmitri Samorukov (who had also just gone unclaimed) to the Blues to pick up Kostin.
It took a month before Kostin got his first NHL opportunity but when he did, he didn’t look back. He wound up being a capable bottom-six winger for Edmonton, notching 11 goals and 10 assists in 57 games while averaging a little under three hits per game in just over ten minutes a night. Kostin also was a good contributor in limited playoff playing time, recording five points despite seeing ATOI dip to less than eight minutes per contest.
While Edmonton certainly would have liked to keep Kostin for themselves, the threat of salary arbitration was too much for them to take the chance, resulting in them giving him away to Detroit. Clearly, with this contract, the Red Wings feel that Kostin will be capable of playing at least a bigger role for them next season and if he has a performance similar to his 2022-23 campaign, they should get at least a decent return on this deal.