Flyers Draft Profile: Matvei Michkov

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2022 NHL Entry Draft
Hockey team participate during the second day of the 2022 NHL Draft on Friday, July 8, 2022 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)

Matvei Michkov enters the 2023 NHL Entry Draft with some questions marks.

First, Michkov is under contract with SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL through 2025-2026. Second, with the geopolitical situation concerning Russia and their athletes, there are concerns about whether Michkov will ever come to North America at the conclusion of his contract. There is no denying the franchise changing potential Michkov possesses, however.

Michkov is the second-ranked European skater per NHL Central Scouting. A few years ago, Michkov and Connor Bedard were viewed the same in prospect rankings, and a case could be made Michkov was the top prospect between the two. Currently, we know Bedard is the lock to be selected first overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.

A dominant player in Russia, Michkov scored 109 points (70G, 39A) in 26 games with Lokomotiv-2004 Yaroslavl U16 in 2019-2020. He was as impressive in 2021 on the national stage, recording 16 points (12G, 4A) in seven games. In that U18 World Juniors, Michkov outscored Shane Wright and Bedard.

On loan with HK Sochi in the KHL, Michkov scored 20 points (9G, 11A) in 27 games. He had the highest point-per-game average on the roster as an 18-year-old.

He’ll enter the draft with risk, but the potential reward outweighs the risks by a landslide.


Standing in at 5’10” and 180lbs, Michkov is a natural goal scorer. He has a powerful shot, highlighted by his lightning-quick release. Michkov can score from anywhere on the ice, similar to Alexander Ovechkin.

With his goal scoring abilities, Michkov complements incredible offensivve awareness along with hockey IQ. His playmaking capability matches his goal scoring. Michkov can thread passes to his teammates and create space for himself with his puck skills. He doesn’t panic under pressure, instead looking for a simple pass to keep a possession alive.

Michkov oozes confidence. He uses his quick hands to deke opponents and can take over a game singlehandedly. He isn’t a tall forward, but his sturdy frame helps maintain balance and control while carrying the puck. Michkov isn’t the fastest skater, but he’s strong and agile; changing direction without losing speed.

He shares similar qualities with Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Fedorov.


Most skaters with this kind of talent can become a little overconfident, and it’ll backfire at times. Michkov isn’t an exception because he’s eager to jump a play, exiting the zone, creating an odd-man rush if capitalized upon for the opposition.

Michkov isn’t overly aggressive in the defensive zone. He isn’t looking to make a hit or battle in the dirty areas. He relies on his natural skill to drive play. In the NHL, Michkov will need to improve his defense in order to not become a liability.

It’ll be the biggest adjustment Michkov makes, coming from the MHL and KHL systems primarily focusing on skill instead of a scheme.

Does he fit Philadelphia?

Yes. Michkov possesses elite, franchise-changing potential. He’s a unique player that every NHL team would want to have on their roster. With the risks surrounding him, his draft stock was affected, and teams before the Philadelphia Flyers could pass on him.

Flyers' GM Daniel Briere
FILE – Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team newly appointed Special Assistant to the General Manager, Daniel Briere, arrives for a news conference in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. The Flyers have named long-time television analyst Keith Jones team president of hockey operations and have removed the interim tag from general manager Danny Briere’s title. Jones was a surprise choice Thursday, May 11, 2023, after he spent the last 23 years as an analyst for Flyers telecasts on NBC Sports Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Michkov could certainly slip to the Flyers at seventh overall. If he does, Daniel Briere will have the opportunity to draft a game-changing and franchise player; something missing since Eric Lindros.

(Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)