BSH 2023 Community Draft Board, No. 3: Matvei Michkov
Matvei Michkov is the most interesting player in the draft and it's not really close.
Matvei Michkov is the most interesting player in the draft and it's not really close. Not for what he does on the ice – although that is freakishly tantalizing as well – but for the entire situation following him around like a dark cloud, affecting every conversation about him and where he could fall in the first round of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
Tied to a contract with the KHL's SKA St. Petersburg that runs through the 2025-26 season, many teams are more hesitant to draft the powerful winger because there is no possibility of seeing him play within that team's system (or in North America) until the 2026-27 season. We know hockey teams can barely think six or 12 or 18 months from the present, so expecting them to see Michkov's talent but know that he will not be on your team for 28 months after you make the selection, could prevent him from going where his skill has earned him to be.
Plus, there's the whole Russia thing and the uncertainty of playing over there right now and coming over. We know all too well about how that can happen, like it did for Philadelphia Flyers goaltender prospect Ivan Fedotov.
So all that questionable off-ice context is going to potentially lead to a team swiping Michkov up a couple (or several) picks later than where he was projected to go just earlier this season. But what is that team going to be getting?