The Philadelphia Flyers’ top two prospects in Philly Hockey Now’s rankings — forwards Matvei Michkov and Cutter Gauthier — are off to blazing starts for their respective teams.
Michkov, 18, is probably making several teams second-guess their decision to bypass him in the June draft. He slipped to the Flyers at No. 7, primarily because teams feared they might have a difficult time getting him to leave Russia at some point. He has a three-year contract in the KHL.
Thus far, he is showing why he is regarded as the KHL’s best prospect since someone named Alex Ovechkin (822 career NHL goals), who some day is expected to be surpass Wayne Gretzky (894) as the greatest goal scorer in history.
At one time, the 2023 draft was expected to have Connor Bedard and Michkov as the top two players.
Now, we can understand the thinking.
🚨 Matvei Michkov 🚨
5 goals and 9 points in past 8 games for MM. pic.twitter.com/DdMoH6tKvc
— KHL (@khl_eng) October 20, 2023
In 14 games in the KHL this season, Michkov has 14 points, including seven goals, and was named to the league’s All-Star team. Playing for Sochi, he has the highest points-per-game average of any under-20 KHL player since 2008-09.
Speaking of future Flyers making a mark in the KHL, keep an eye on blossoming goaltender Alexei Kolosov. Selected by the Flyers in the third round of the 2021 draft, th 6-foot-185-pounder has been brilliant in 13 games with Minsk Dynamo, compiling a 2.07 GAA an .918 save percentage. He is 21 and keeps getting better.
Meanwhile, goalie Ivan Fedotov, 26, who should be playing in North America because he has a contract with the Flyers, has a 2.17 GAA and .909 save percentage in 13 KHL games for CSKA Moscow this season.
As for Gauthier, he has three goals and 26 shots in Boston College’s first four games. In short, he is showing why he will be a Philadelphia Flyers regular at this time next season. Gauthier, a 19-year-old left winger/center, had 16 goals and 37 points in 32 games last season with Boston College.
The Flyers (3-1-1), who sit atop the Metropolitan Division, play Tuesday in Vegas (6-0) at 11 p.m. … Philly is 3-0-1 in its last three games, all against strong Western Conference teams (Vancouver, Edmonton, Dallas). … Carter Hart will be back in the nets against Vegas; he is off to an impressive start: a 3-1 record with a 2.01 GAA and .929 save percentage.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) October 23, 2023