Michkov’s Early NHL Arrival Sparks Regret

Matvei Michkov is heading to the NHL sooner than expected, making some teams regret passing on him.

Half of the six players picked before Michkov in the 2023 NHL Draft have already played in the NHL. But apart from Connor Bedard, it’s hard to say any of them have Michkov’s offensive talent.

Michkov isn’t perfect; his defense needs work. But his offensive skills are no joke. He averaged 2.2 points per game in the under-18 World Championships for Russia, matching Alexander Ovechkin and beating future stars like Ilya Kovalchuk (1.6) and Evgeni Malkin (1.4).

In Russia’s top league, the KHL, he showed off his skills too. Over 91 games with SKA St. Petersburg and Sochi, he scored 66 points (30 goals, 36 assists).

Michkov’s Impact on the Flyers:

His mix of skill and anticipation makes him a player to watch this season. Fans might think he’s going to be a big deal for the Flyers right away and could even compete for the Calder Trophy as best rookie.

Despite doubts about his defensive play, at just 5-foot-10 and 147 pounds, he often outworks others for loose pucks. This hustle shows that with time, he can improve defensively too.

Many thought Michkov was second only to Bedard in talent but were surprised when he was still available at seventh pick in 2023. Teams like Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes passed on him mainly because they thought he’d stay in Russia for three more years due to his contract with SKA.

Now those teams will soon see if they made a mistake by not picking him.

What do you think? Did those teams mess up by passing on Michkov?

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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