Flyers Rumors: Michkov Could Come To NHL Sooner Than Expected

Russian forward Matvei Michkov was generally regarded as the second most skilled player in the 2023 NHL draft behind Connor Bedard. But he saw his draft stock fall to the No. 7 spot due to his contractual commitments in the KHL for three seasons through to 2026. 

The Philadelphia Flyers were thrilled to steal Michkov with the seventh overall pick, and it appears now that gamble may be paying off sooner than they had hoped. A report out of Russia indicates that Michkov may be freed to come to the NHL before his contract with SKA is done, even before next season. 

According to Match TV in Russia, SKA chairman Alexander Medvedev did not leave it out of the realm of possibility for Michkov to join the Flyers as soon as this summer, with a decision to come no later than June 30th.

“I think we will talk about all the options, first of all, with him," Medvedev told Match TV. “And we will also talk with the leaders of Philadelphia, with whom we have very good relations. There is understanding, and you will be patient. I think the decision on Michkov will be no later than the end of June.”

If this comes to fruition, there would be a clause that if Michkov doesn't crack the Flyers lineup out of training camp, he would be offered back to SKA rather than be sent down to the AHL. 

Philly GM Danny Briere seemed to foreshadow this possibility of Michkov's arrival last week at his season-ending media availability. “Look, if there’s an opportunity, we would jump on it to get him here quicker.” 

The 19-year-old phenom is coming off a breakthrough season, leading all KHL junior players with 19 goals and 22 assists for 41 points in 47 games.