Flyers Prospects, Matvei Michkov

Flyers’ Matvei Michkov Will Be an Immediate Star in the NHL

For the Philadelphia Flyers, it’s hard not to be excited about their Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) star in Matvei Michkov. The Flyers have found themselves a gem, and they are not shy about it. Not if, but when he comes over to the NHL, he will be ready to compete with the best in the world right away.

Michkov Will Have Years of Professional Experience

With Michkov under contract in the KHL until the 2026-27 NHL season begins, it seems unlikely he will come over to North America before then. This is not necessarily a bad thing for Michkov and the Flyers. This gives the Russian phenom a chance to develop his game with professionals rather than being forced to play in a league too far below or above his skillset.

Matvei Michkov
The Nikolai Puchkov memorial tournament. SKA (St.Petersburg) – HC Sochi (Sochi). @ Matvey Michkov (photo credit:

Notable players in recent memory that have stayed in the KHL for large sums of time and then had an immediate impact in the NHL include Kirill Kaprizov and Ilya Sorokin. These two stars debuted in the NHL in 2020-21 after dominating the KHL for years. They have taken no time to adjust to a vastly different climate.

The same could be said for Michkov. He has already broken the points per game (P/GP) record for draft-eligible players coming from the KHL at 0.67. It might not seem like a lot, but keep in mind that Alexander Ovechkin, a year after he was drafted, was only able to beat this pace slightly over the course of his regular season and playoffs at 0.70 P/GP.

Related: Meet Matvei Michkov: The Best Russian Prospect Since Ovechkin

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Michkov has three years to improve his game, and nothing says he is not capable of doing so. As he gets stronger and rounds out his game, he will be more equipped to handle the demands of NHL hockey.

Michkov is Already Experimenting

In his team’s preseason, Michkov experimented at the center position rather than his usual wing spot. Unfortunately, Michkov might not be a prototypical centerman given his rawness defensively and him being a bit undersized among normal centers, listed at 5-foot-10, 172 pounds at the combine. However, Michkov has the elite offensive skills to produce in that sort of role. There are many centers at the NHL level that do not fit the normal mold of the role. Exceptions are rightfully made for players with high levels of skill.

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, a player so dominant that he can define what a centerman is on his own (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If Michkov is generational, he can play anywhere on the ice. The beauty of his talents is that he can break the rules for an ideal center, because if he is as good as he has shown, it would be unwise to limit him.

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Even if Michkov never sees the ice as a center in the NHL, it’s good to know that he is open to maximizing his potential. If Michkov is willing to make one of the most difficult position switches in the sport, he will be willing to do anything to win. This should spark some excitement out of Flyers fans, even if the idea of him being a center is not for you.

Michkov Has Shown a Winner’s Mentality

One of the major reasons why the Flyers drafted Michkov in the first place was because of the mentality he showed. He was quoted as saying:

[My] biggest wish, my biggest expectation, is that I want to come to Philadelphia and I want to help them win a Stanley Cup. I know they’ve been waiting a long time for one, and that’s my goal and that’s why I’m coming.

Michkov on Draft Night, via Translator

It is pretty rare to see this sort of commitment out of a player. Maybe it’s the language barrier, but Michkov seems genuinely attached to the Flyers, and his biggest goal appears to be winning a championship. Anybody can say this, but Michkov has shown it.

Michkov, born and raised in Russia, could stay in his country for the rest of his life and live pretty carefree given his status as a budding star. Instead, he has shown interest in coming over to North America and give the NHL a chance. If a Stanley Cup is his dream, he will be the X-Factor in order to achieve it. Michkov is the future of the Flyers.

Be Patient for Michkov

It will be difficult, but having patience will be pivotal in this process. The Flyers have rarely had the privilege to select a player with league-wide hype around him, so it is easy to want to fast-forward until Michkov is finally ready to come over to the NHL. Until that happens, the Flyers’ faithful can only wait until that day approaches.

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