ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues parted ways with a fan favorite during Friday night’s NHL Draft, but in the process they were able to acquire two intriguing young forwards.
Minutes after dealing center Jori Lehtera and the No. 27 overall pick to the Philadelphia Flyers as part of a package to acquire center Brayden Schenn, the Blues got back into the first round by trading forward Ryan Reaves and the 51st overall pick in this year’s draft to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Oskar Sundqvist and the 31st overall pick, which they used to select Russian forward Klim Kostin.
The 30-year-old Reaves has spent the past seven seasons with the Blues after being drafted by the club in the fifth round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native has recorded 51 points (27 goals, 24 assists) and 695 penalty minutes in 419 career regular season games, as well as one goal and 23 penalty minutes in 36 career postseason games.
The 23-year-old Sundqvist was originally drafted by the Penguins in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, the 6-foot-3, 209-pound forward appeared in 63 games for the AHL Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, ranking third on the team with 20 goals and 46 points overall. Sundqvist also dressed in 10 games for Pittsburgh, logging two penalty minutes. The Boden, Sweden, native was also a part of Pittsburgh’s 2016 Stanley Cup-winning team, appearing in 18 regular season games and two postseason games. Overall, Sundqvist has played in 28 career NHL games, recording four points (one goal, three assists) and six penalty minutes.
Kostin spent 2016-17 playing professionally in Russia, including an eight-game stint with the Kontinental Hockey League’s Dynamo Moskva. In 2015-16, the 6-foot-3, 196-pound forward tallied 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 30 games with HK MVD Balashikha. The Penza, Russia, native also captained Team Russia at both the 2015 World U-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2016 U-18 World Junior Championships. At the 2015 Hockey Challenge, Kostin posted five points (two goals, three assists) in six tournament games, leading Russia to the silver medal. Kostin was ranked first among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.