NHL rumors: Matvei Michkov could play for Flyers next season

Could the first-rounder be NHL bound in 2024?

Matvei Michkov in middle of image looking hopeful, Philadelphia Flyers logo, 3-5 question marks, hockey rink in background

Philadelphia Flyers top prospect Matvei Michkov fell to No. 7 in the 2023 NHL Draft largely because of the 19-year-olds commitment to play in the Kontinental Hockey League for three seasons. But based on a report from the Russia’s Sport-Express on Sunday, that might no longer be the case.

“According to SE, SKA forward Matvey Michkov will continue his career in Philadelphia,” reported Arthur Khairullin. “The contract with the St. Petersburg club will be terminated until 2026, and the rights to the hockey player in the KHL will remain with the army team.”

If confirmed, it would be an absolutely monumental boost for a Flyers team that already looks ahead of the rebuild timeline. Michkov has emerged into a star in Russia after scoring a sparkling 41 points in 48 games on loan with HK Sochi.

That’s the second-most by any player under-20 in the history of the league, behind just Minnesota Wild superstar Kirill Kaprizov who put up 42 points in 2016-17, per Gabriel Foley of Pro Hockey Rumors.

“Michkov has managed the strong scoring despite playing on one of the KHL’s weakest teams. HK Sochi, who operate as a feeder team for SKA, have won just 28 of their 136 games over the last two seasons, even despite Michkov raising their average goals-per-game from 2.01 to 2.47 during his time there,” wrote Foley on Sunday. “The meager setting served both pros and cons, allowing Michkov to emerge as a KHL team’s star but also providing him with little support.”

Michkov was one of the most skilled players drafted in 2023, and he’s only gotten better and better ahead of his highly-anticipated move to North America. And with that now possibly happening much sooner than expected, it adds another piece to a Flyers team that was oh-so-close to making the playoffs in 2024.

Flyers playoff hopes skyrocket if Matvei Michkov comes to North America

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Travis Konecny (11), right wing Tyson Foerster (71) and right wing Owen Tippett (74) acknowledge the fans after loss to the Washington Capitals during the second period at Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers occupied the No. 3 spot in the Metropolitan Division for large stretches of the 2023-24 season, but relinquished the playoff berth by losing eight games in a row and nine of their last 11 to finish the year. It was a brutal collapse for a roster that truly limped to the finish line, but the progress from the young core was certainly encouraging.

It was a breakout season for multiple young Flyers; Cam York, Travis Sanheim, Owen Tippett and Joel Farabee all had great seasons, and will look to take another step forward in 2024-25.

Michkov should add anther offensive element to a potent emerging attack in Philadelphia, and his potential move to NA will be one of the most intriguing storylines of the offseason. General manager Danny Briere said earlier this offseason that “It’s really exciting to know that we have a prospect like that on our team, but we don’t know if we are ever going to see him.”

It looks like Flyers fans could be seeing him a lot earlier than expected as the franchise aims to take another step forward next season.


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