LBC's Top 25 Panthers Under 25: #21 Yaroslav Kosov
Staying in Russia, the top 25 under 25 rankings continues with Yaroslav Kosov. One of the promising young native-born players in the KHL, Kosov - like previously discussed prospect Delnov - is loved by several local scouts. The 19-year old forward is expected to play with his hometown team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk in 2012-13; a rare honor which speaks very highly of his hockey skills.
Position: RW ▪ Shoots: Left
Height: 6-3 ▪ Weight: 220 lbs.
Born: July 5, 1993 (Age 19) in Magnitogorsk, Russia
Draft: Florida, 5th round (124th overall), 2011
Selected in the third round (70th overall) of the 2010 KHL Import Draft by Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Kosov began his career with Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (which translates to Magnitogorsk Steel Foxes) of the MHL in 2010-11 (the same team where Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin began his career). With the Steel Foxes, Kosov scored 21 points (11G/10A) in 42 games with a plus-12 and 22 penalty minutes. He was tied for ninth in team scoring.
The next season Kosov played 12 games in the MHL, before moving up to the KHL. With the Steel Foxes he scored 10 points (6G/4A) with a plus-five and six penalty minutes. Kosov stuck with Metallurg Magnitogorsk for 27 games, playing for Team Russia at 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and missing the Super Series after sustaining injury in a car crash.
In his 27 games in the KHL, Kosov scored nine points (4G/5A) with six penalty minutes and a plus-six. With the silver medal-winning Russian entry at the World Juniors, Kosov scored four points (2G/2A) in seven games, earning a plus-six. He was ninth in team scoring on a roster that included 2012 first-overall pick Nail Yakupov and 12th selection Mikhail Grigorenko in the most recent NHL Entry Draft.
Kosov hasn't yet attended any Florida Panthers development/rookie camps since coming to the organization a little over a year ago. Projected as a future power forward, Kosov has the size to push opposing forwards and defenders around, and the speed and skills to score on them. Expect big numbers from him next season as he's positioned to play a full year in the KHL.