Russian forward Matvei Michkov, who we recently wrote about in our latest NHL draft profile, is expected to be selected early in the first round of the upcoming 2023 NHL Entry Draft in June. The 18-year-old forward was recently projected to end up going to the Capitals in the latest mock draft published by Cory Pronman of The Athletic.
Michkov recently commented on the possibility of joining fellow countrymen Alex Ovechkin, Evegeny Kuznetsov, Ivan Miroshnichenko and Alexander Alexeyev in Washington.
“Yes, that would be great. But not everything depends on me. As fate wills, so be it. You just have to be ready for everything,” said Michkov in an interview with Russian media outlet Match.TV via Google Translate. “It’s probably too early for me to think about America. I am in Russia now. I will do my best to gain a foothold at SKA . This is my main task.”
Michkov added that thoughts about playing in the NHL are secondary at this point. He has three years remaining on his current KHL contract.
“And further plans – America or not America – are in my secondary roles. I need to prove myself in Russia. I have to succeed as a player. Score more, give more, benefit the team more,” Michkov said.
Michkov said he will likely miss the upcoming NHL combine in Buffalo, but will be attending the draft in June.
“I haven’t heard anything about the combine. Most likely, I won’t be there. I’m going to the draft itself at the end of June. I’m just going to see the ceremony. It happens once in a lifetime. It’s just interesting. But I can’t share my impressions yet. I can’t even imagine what will happen there and what emotions it is. When I get back, I can tell you what was going on there.”
As previously mentioned, The Athletic’s Cory Pronman has Michkov going to the Capitals in his latest mock draft.
“I think this is the alleyway where a Michkov pick becomes realistic, plus or minus one or two picks. In very early discussions with people around the league on him, Washington or Detroit are considered the betting favorites for his landing spot. Does anyone really have a clue though? No. He could be long gone by this pick, or possibly he could drop further.”
Michkov had 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) with HK Sochi this season in 27 games, which is respectable performance on a bad team. Sochi was last in the Bobrov Division of the KHL going 11-57.
The Perm, native blossomed in last year’s Hlinka/Gretzky Cup, where he racked up 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in just five games for the U18 Russian national squad, which led the entire tournament.
By Jon Sorensen
So he’ll be 21 or 22 when he crosses the pond and starts the learn the NA rink, style of play, and possibly English. OK, our college draftees are that age or older when they become available but they already have that experience.
I would be happy to risk a lower draft pick but not a first round.
It’s certainly the rub with Michkov, and likely why his stock has dropped a tad in recent days.
I’m beginning to wonder if this would be a good pick. He wouldn’t show up until after Ovechkin in era, which is ok, but he would be just learning North American game at that point.
I’ll be crossing my fingers that the caps will make the right decision and pass on the kid. I don’t care if he ends up the best hockey player ever, there is a lot of elite talent in this draft that are nearly sure things that will still be available at 8, Michkov is not one of them.
I’m getting wobbly on him as well.
I’m thinking “pass” at this point. There are players available that can help right away. Don’t take him just because he’s Russian.
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