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Toronto Maple Leafs draft Michael Koster 146th overall

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The Leafs pick a defender who’s heading to college.

Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Michael Koster with the 146th pick of the 2019 NHL Draft.

The basics: 5-9”, 172lbs, played for Chaska High School & the Tri-City Storm last season.

Koster is a left handed defender who played high school hockey in Minnesota and a few games in the USHL as well. He’s committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2019-20 season. Over his high school career he’s scored 185 points in 95 games (1.95PPG) from the blue line. He doesn’t have a lot of international experience, only five games played at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup.

State of Hockey held a Q&A with him and he’s already good at hockey answers:

State of Hockey: Who has had the biggest influence on your hockey career?

Mike Koster: My parents. They have made countless sacrifices to get me to practices, games, training sessions, workouts, etc.

SOH: Favorite hockey memory?

MK: Winning gold for Team USA at the Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic

SOH: Favorite NHL player?

MK: Erik Karlsson

SOH: Describe your game...

MK: I’m a small offensive defenseman with good hockey IQ and skating ability. I can make plays in transition and help by jumping into the rush

SOH: What’s the best advice you’ve received?

MK: No matter what happens, always stay humble and keep working hard.

From hockeyprospect.com:

Koster is really coming along…fresh off of a game that saw him get his first points in the USHL, Koster was playing with a lot of confidence

Koster showcased his playmaking ability in this game, often leading and joining the rush coming out of his own end.

Offensive defenseman who was not shy about jumping into the play. Even took a faceoff and played center for a shift.

Koster used his speed to breakdown the Czech defense, and against Finland he used his skating ability to generate plays as well.

Koster had an above-average two-way performance against Canada and once again showed a high-level transitional skillset. His mobility is impressive and he can generate a separating gear.

From The Hockey News’ Steven Ellis:

And from The Hockey News’ “Prospects You Need To Know”:

Mike Koster, D, Chaska Hawks (Minn. HS): The Minnesota high school circuit held a pre-season all-star prospects game recently and Koster was a standout for the victorious Team Blue with a multipoint game. A beautiful skater and puckhandler with smarts, the 2019 draft prospect is a University of Minnesota commit. NHL arrival: 2022-23