The Predators picked up two players before the Trade Deadline commenced on Monday afternoon, surprising most (if not all) Predators fan. With everyone’s minds on the Nash-to-Nash conundrum, no one saw who Predators General Manager, David Poile was really eyeing in the Eastern Conference.
The first of those two Eastern Conference contenders the Predators traded for was Andrei Kostitsyn, current Nashville Predators player Sergei Kostitsyn’s older brother. The Predators made a trade agreement with the Montreal Canadiens, that (along with the conditional draft pick used to get Hal Gill) the Canadiens would hand over AK46 for a 2nd Round Draft Pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Andrei Kostitsyn was born on February 3, 1985 in Novopolotsk, Belarus. Before starting his career in the NHL, Andrei competed in several different leagues, including the Eastern European Hockey League and the CSKA of Russia. After his first season with CSKA, Andrei was drafted first round (10th overall) in the 2003 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. In the summer of 2004, AK46 signed a three-year contract with the team.
Andrei Kostitsyn saw his first NHL game on December 1, 2005 against the Buffalo Sabres, a game the Canadiens would ultimately lose in overtime. Kostitsyn wasted no time scoring his first NHL goal on the December 13th against the Phoenix Coyotes, a game the Canadiens would end up winning 5-2.
Unfortunately, the older Kostitsyn is no stranger to injury, suffering a minor concussion in the 2008-09 season along with a leg injury. Thankfully, in the same month, AK46 notched his first career Hat Trick on December 27, 2008.
After seven years with the Montreal Canadiens, it was time for AK46 to be reunited with little brother, SK74 in Nashville. Sergei and Andrei were separated on June 29, 2009 when Sergei was traded to the Nashville Predators for goaltender Dan Ellis and forward Dustin Boyd.
OTHER NOTABLE FACTS:
- Posted 12:13 minutes of ice time against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night during his debut with the Nashville Predators.
- Andrei and Paul Gaustad, the other major trade pickup for the Predators, both share the same birthday (February 3rd).
- Collected 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 53 games this season with the Montreal Canadiens.
- AK46 played 379 NHL games since his 2005-06 career, all with the Montreal Canadiens. Along with this, Kostitsyn has tallied 99 goals and 210 points.
Andrei Kostitsyn has been called the complete opposite of his young brother, Sergei. In what ways? Well, Andrei likes to shoot and shoot as often as possible. Though Sergei is finally coming around to shooting more often, hopefully with his brother on his side, both will become an unstoppable brotherly force. Maybe a Sedin twin combo? Along with this potential, by picking up Andrei, the chances of the Predators re-signing Sergei are much higher come post-season.
Welcome to Nashville, Andrei Kostitsyn!
(Photo credit: Elsa/Getty Images North America)