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Klim Kostin is here, but what impact will he have for Blues?

St. Louis may be seeing top prospect Klim Kostin in the lineup sooner than expected.
Credit: AP
St. Louis Blues left wing Klim Kostin (37) skates with the puck against Washington Capitals right wing Devante Smith-Pelly (25) during the second period of an NHL preseason hockey game, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

ST. LOUIS — After Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko went down, there were a lot of questions about who would be able to step up and fill his void.

While you can't replace a player like that, you can find ways to mix players together to make up for the 30 or more goals that he most likely would have scored this season.

The situation only became more difficult when Alexander Steen suffered a lower-body injury that will keep him out for longer than expected. This narrowed the roster down to 12 forwards.

And one of those forwards was Jacob de la Rose who had never played with his line mates before the Robby Fabbri trade.

Watch: Klim Kostin talks after call up to Blues

While this seemingly could work for a period of time, it's not the best plan nor the ideal situation.

After the Blues' forwards couldn't score more than one goal against Arizona on Wednesday, it became clear that a moving piece may and should come into play.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong made the decision to sign two forwards to professional tryouts. While this isn't a common move, it was a smart one if one or both players were meshing with the team, and providing a strong, veteran presence on the ice.

Troy Brouwer trying out with the team brought excitement to the city because of the memory of his game-winning goal in Game 7 of the 2016 playoffs against the Blackhawks.

Brouwer was a key piece in the team's success that year providing 18 goals and 21 assists.

Watch: Craig Berube talks after Kostin call up

He was one of the only consistent players  that could provide a strong presence on the top two lines that season. He has 181 goals and 181 points in his 13-year NHL career, and could be a solid presence to the third line of this Blues team.

The next forward trying out with the team is Jamie McGinn. In his 11-year NHL career McGinn has tallied 117 goals and 103 assists. While he may not bring the same speed and power as Brouwer, he brings more experience than current options if they aren't working.

After this, of course, the questions arose surrounding players in San Antonio playing for the Blues' AHL affiliate. Specifically, "where is Klim Kostin?"

After getting off to a slower start than anticipated, Kostin has turned things up a notch down south. His three goals and 10 assists don't scream that he's ready for NHL ice time, but there are other factors to his game that support the idea of giving him a shot on the ice.

Armstrong made it clear that this is a league of experience and the Blues don't want to put young, developing players into a situation they may not succeed in.

Just two days after making that statement, Kostin was recalled from the AHL. He's not guaranteed a spot in the lineup come back-to-back games this weekend, but the competition just got tougher.

The difference between Kostin and most players in the minor leagues, is that he's played at that level since he was 18 years old. As a European player, Kostin was allowed to play in that league when others weren't.

So while it seems he's been down in the minors grinding it out for far longer than usual, he's typically at the entry level age of most other players.

The 20-year-old Russian shoots left and has a 6'3" frame and is a physical player, who has all the potential to play the style of game Blues head coach Craig Berube has been preaching.

It will be Berube's decision on if Kostin gets to play on Friday or Saturday. And it will be a combined decision by Armstrong and Berube if Brouwer or McGinn will be offered a contract.

But after a few years of hearing about him, Kostin is finally here. And Blues fans might just get to see their top prospect in action sooner rather than later.

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