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Michkov explains decision to leave KHL, head to Flyers

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It is officially official; the Philadelphia Flyers’ top prospect Matvei Michkov is coming over to the NHL two years earlier than expected and will be wearing the Orange and Black for the 2024-25 season.

On Tuesday morning, his KHL team, SKA St. Petersburg, formally confirmed that Michkov will be buying out the remaining two years of his contract and is off to Philadelphia. Included in the release, Michkov himself explained the situation and what went into his decision.

“After much thought, I decided to try my hand at the NHL. I would like to say a huge thank you to the SKA management for being cooperative in this matter,” Michkov said via SKA. “I immediately outlined my position that I want to play in the KHL only for SKA — no exchanges or loans. I will make my way to the NHL, but if I return to the KHL, I will only play in St. Petersburg.

“The decision was not easy, but I feel it was the right one: I am full of strength and desire to prove that I am worth of playing there. In addition, this was a long-time dream of my father. He really wanted to see my debut in the NHL, and for me it is extremely important to take this step, also for his sake. I’m sure he would support me in this.”

SKA St. Petersburg will retain his KHL rights — hopefully, that never comes into play again — if he is ever heading back overseas to not play in the NHL. In addition to that agreement, both the player and the team recognized that a new change of scenery is probably best after the loss of his father last year in Sochi, while living with his son.

“Thanks to Roman Borisovich Rotenberg for believing in me, inviting me to SKA, and giving me every opportunity to develop and improve my game,” Michkov continued. “Thanks to all the coaches, players, staff with whom I worked, played and won here. And, of course, thanks to our fans. I’m sure we’ll meet again. See you, St. Petersburg!”

As of right now, the next steps for Michkov will be to officially sign an Entry-Level Contract with the Flyers and start the visa process for him to legally step on North American ice. Recent reports are that it should take one to two weeks for the entire process, so unfortunately it appears that Michkov will be missing the Flyers’ development camp that takes place next week.

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