March 20, 1987 |
Navapolatsk, Byelorussian SSR,
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||207 lb (94 kg; 14 st 11 lb)|
|NHL Draft||200th overall, 2005
Syarhyey Alehavich Kastsitsyn (Belarusian: Сяргей Алегавiч Касціцын; born March 20, 1987), better known as Sergei Kostitsyn, is a Belarusian professional ice hockey winger currently playing for Avangard Omsk in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He has previously played with the Montreal Canadiens and the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League alongside his older brother Andrei.
Like his older brother, Sergei excelled in the Belarusian junior hockey program. Sergei played for HK Gomel in Belarus in 2004–05 (14 points in 40 games) and was drafted in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Import Draft by the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)'s London Knights. Sergei was also drafted in the seventh round, 200th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Montréal Canadiens, the team that also had drafted Andrei in the first round (10th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He was traded to the Nashville Predators on June 29, 2010.
Kostitsyn moved to North America in 2005–06 to play with the Knights and recorded 26 goals, 52 assists and 78 points, leading all OHL rookies in scoring during the 2005–06 season. The 19-year-old was the second runner-up for the Emms Family Award, as OHL Rookie of the Year, behind Logan Couture of the Ottawa 67's and 15-year-old winner John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals. Sergei was instrumental in the London Knights' 2006 playoff run, which saw them lose to the Peterborough Petes in the OHL final. In his first ever OHL playoff game against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Sergei had six points, a goal and five assists, in a 6–1 London win. In the semi-finals, Kostitsyn scored the series-clinching goal against the Guelph Storm, a power-play goal in the first overtime of game five. In addition to being named team rookie of the year, the Knights named him the playoff performer of the year, finishing the post-season with 37 points in 19 games.
Joining the Montreal Canadiens' 2006–07 training camp, Kostitsyn was returned to London for a second OHL season. He was placed on a line with young superstars Patrick Kane and Sam Gagner and was named an alternate captain. Kostitsyn finished third in OHL and CHL scoring behind teammate Patrick Kane and Oshawa's John Tavares, tallying 40 goals and 131 points in only 59 games. His 91 assists led the CHL and broke the London Knights franchise record of 89 set in 1972–73 by Dennis Ververgaert.
On May 2nd, 2008, Sergei Kostitsyn signed an amateur tryout contract with the Canadiens' AHL team, the Hamilton Bulldogs, to assist the team in its Calder Cup-winning playoff run. However, after not being inserted in the lineup, he returned home to see his family. On May 25th, Kostitsyn signed with the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-year, entry-level contract.
Kostitsyn began the 2007–08 season with the Bulldogs. On December 13, 2007, while leading the Bulldogs in scoring, Kostitsyn was called up by the Montreal Canadiens. He played his first career NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers on December 13 and played on the top-line with captain Saku Koivu and Christopher Higgins. Sergei recorded his first career NHL point, an assist, in the next game, a 4–1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 15. Five days later, in his fourth game on December 20, Sergei scored his first career NHL goal, a power-play marker in a 5–2 win against the Washington Capitals. He finished his rookie season with 27 points in 51 games and added eight points in 12 playoff games.
The following season, Kostitsyn was reassigned to Hamilton on February 19, 2009. He was called back up a little over a month later on March 22. Prior to the 2009–10 season, Kostitsyn was cut from the lineup and assigned to Hamilton. On September 30, he announced that he would not report to Hamilton and even asked to be traded. He was then suspended by the team. A few days later, Kostitsyn agreed to report to the Bulldogs in time for the start of the 2009–10 season. After four points in the first five games of the season, however, he left the team on October 21 and was consequently suspended a second time by the Canadiens. He finally decided to report once again to the Hamilton Bulldogs and after recording 13 points in 16 games with the Bulldogs, he was recalled by the Canadiens. On May 7, Sergei was effectively cut from the Habs when Jacques Martin told the player to stay off the ice for the morning practice.
On July 6, 2010, Kostitsyn signed a one-year deal with the Nashville Predators worth $550,000 that ran through the 2010-2011 NHL season. In the 2011-12 season, his second with the Predators, Kostitsyn scored his first career hat trick on January 1, 2012.
On July 4, 2013, Kostitsyn was placed on waivers for the condition of a mutual termination of his contract with the Predators. On July 6, 2013, he signed a three-year contract to return to his club during the 2012 NHL lockout, Avangard Osmk of the KHL.
In the 2006 World Junior Championships, he was named tournament MVP of the B-pool, leading Belarus to a promotion to the top-tier. Playing in pool-A in 2007, he scored a goal and two assists in the first game of the tournament, a 4-2 upset victory against Finland. He finished the tournament with 5 points in 6 games.
On December 23, 2009, Kostitsyn was selected along with his older brother Andrei, Mikhail Grabovski and Ruslan Salei as the only four current NHL players to represent Belarus in the 2010 Olympics.
- Named World Junior Championships Pool-B MVP in 2006.
- Named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team in 2006.
- Named the London Knights' top playoff performer in 2006.
- Named the London Knights' rookie of the year in 2006.
Regular season and playoffs
- "Knights draw first blood". 2006-03-24. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- "Knights back in OHL Final". 2006-04-29. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- "Knights acquire Bulls picks for Peleech". 2006-06-15. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- "Canadiens sign CHL's top assist man". CBC. 2007-05-26. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- "Habs look to end long skid vs. Leafs". Sporting News. 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- "Koivu scores twice in Canadiens' 4-1 win over Maple Leafs". USA Today. 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- "Latendresse scores 2 goals to lead Montreal over Washington 5-2". International Herald Tribune. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- "Canadiens summon Sergei Kostitsyn from minors". CBC. 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
- "Sergei Kostitsyn Suspended by Habs; Requests Trade". TSN. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
- "Sergei Kostitsyn suspended by Habs after leaving Bulldogs". The Sports Network. 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
- "Canadiens Ship Kostitsyn To Predators For Ellis, Boyd", TSN, 29 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-30
- "Kostitsyn returns to Avangard" (in Russian). Avangard Omsk. 2013-07-06. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Knights' odd couple". The London Free Press. 2006-01-24. Retrieved 2008-10-21.[dead link]
- "Belarus names four NHLers to Olympics roster". NHL.