By now, it’s widely accepted that the Philadelphia Flyers got a steal with the seventh overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
‘Steal’ might be putting it lightly.
The beginning of the 2023-24 season didn’t go as Matvei Michkov had hoped. During his time with SKA St. Petersburg, the teenage sensation frequently spent time as a healthy scratch. When he did play, he only received a handful of minutes.
Then, for the second time in as many years, Michkov was loaned to HK Sochi. In the 2022-23 season, the Flyers prospect scored nine goals, 11 assists, and 20 points in 27 KHL games with Sochi.
After a three-point effort against Lada Togliatti on Thursday, Michkov is up to 11 goals, 13 assists, and 24 points in 25 games this season. He’s already been named a KHL All-Star, but there’s something just a little bit more special on the horizon.
For years, Evgeni Malkin has been a terror that the Philadelphia Flyers have often had to face. Malkin, like Michkov, spent his teenage years in the KHL before joining the Pittsburgh Penguins full-time in 2006.
At the age of 18, Michkov is producing at a level that not even Malkin could rival.
Best EVER KHL/RSL P/GP for player with 50+ gp in u-20 seasons?
Michkov: 49 in 69 (0.71)
Malkin: 91 in 132 (0.69)
Korolyuk: 86 in 124 (0.69)
Samsonov: 42 in 64 (0.66)
Kuznetsov: 81 in 128 (0.63) #Flyers
— Alexander Appleyard (@avappleyard) November 16, 2023
As Alexander Appleyard astutely pointed out on X, Michkov’s career 0.71 points-per-game in the KHL – as it stands – is now the highest ever for a U-20 player in that league. Malkin’s 0.69 is a close second, but it’s the future Flyers star who is now top dog.
Indeed, Danny Briere and co. will have to wait until 2026 to bring their top draft pick over to North America. In the meantime, though, they can turn their attention to Cutter Gauthier. Provided the Boston College ace’s season doesn’t run deep into April, the Philadelphia Flyers will have an opportunity to ink him to an entry-level contract and get him on the ice for a few games.
Plus, the Flyers have two first-round picks in the 2024 NHL Draft. They’re just add-ons to a Matvei Michkov-led future.