Do not be surprised if you are hearing the names Jordan Kyrou, Kilm Kostin, and Robert Thomas in the very near future, perhaps even this season. All three players had absolutely stellar World Junior Championships (WJC) showings. And that is on top of their already impressive minor league numbers. Kyrou and Thomas have been setting the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) on fire this season. Both are in the top 10 in points in the league, with Kyrou (3rd) posting a whopping 58 points in 30 games (19 G, 39 A) and Thomas (9th) putting up 46 points in 27 games (20 G, 26 A). On the Blues farm system team, the San Antonio Rampage in the American Hockey League (AHL), Kostin has 11 points in 26 games this season, which is 3rd on the team for rookie scoring. All three would have even more points had they not missed games because of the WJC.
At the World Juniors this year in Buffalo, the trio finished the tournament as top 25 scorers: Kyrou tied for 3rd in scoring with 10 points (3 G, 7 A), Kostin tied for 7th with 8 points (5 G, 3 A), and Thomas tied for 21st with 6 points (1 G, 5 A). Unfortunately, Kostin is not taking home any hardware as Russia was bounced by the USA in the Quarterfinals. But Kyrou and Thomas are bringing back a gold medal as Canada beat Sweden in the Championship.
But it’s not just the numbers that are impressive, all three players are dominant on the ice. Two of Kyrou’s three goals could have been Top 10 worthy on SportsCenter.
Kostin might be David Backes reincarnated as an elite goal scorer. His willingness to go to the net, his silky hands, and his lethal shot are what make him the steal of the 2017 draft.
And Thomas is a great all-around center with unbelievable vision on the ice. That’s something the Blues really need.
It’s safe to say the Blues’ prospects put their names on many hockey fans’ radars during the 2018 WJC.
As the Blues come down the home stretch in 2018, they might need these three to play a key role in some way, whether that be via a call up to the Blues or by being the centerpiece in a major trade. Would it best better for the Blues to hang on to all three? Absolutely. They could be key cogs to building a formidable Stanley Cup contender. But, for the right player (*cough cough* Mike Hoffman *cough cough*), it might be necessary to part ways with one. Let’s hope it’s not necessary, though, because Kyrou, Kostin, and Thomas are absolute gems of prospects that don’t fall into a perennial playoff team’s lap too often.
Whatever happens, it’s encouraging to see the Blues’ best young guns excelling under the spotlight during the biggest junior prospect tournament in the world. It shows that Doug Armstrong’s scouting team is doing a phenomenal job and that the Blues will continue to maintain their dominance in the Western Conference for years to come.