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Wild Sign Khusnutdinov to ELC; What it Means for Flyers, Michkov

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(Photo: Svetlana Sadykova)

The Minnesota Wild announced on Wednesday afternoon that they signed HC Sochi forward Marat Khusnutdinov to a two-year, entry-level contract. For the Philadelphia Flyers, this new precedent represents a game-changer for the organization and its rebuild.

Sochi did not qualify for KHL postseason play and subsequently allowed Khusnutdinov to leave, even though his contract technically expires in the KHL offseason.

As we know, Flyers prospect Matvei Michkov has a contract in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg that runs through 2025-26, meaning Michkov would be unable to join the Flyers until the 2026-27 season. But, in the event SKA does not qualify for the playoffs, a la Khusnutdinov and Sochi, Michkov, may have the option to join up with the Flyers towards the tail end of the 2025-26 season.

And, it’s not just Michkov that this has implications on. The Flyers also have goalie Alexei Kolosov playing for eighth-seed Dinamo Minsk in the KHL right now, and they are matched up with first-seed Dynamo Moskva in the first round of the playoffs. If Kolosov and Minsk were to be knocked out early, would his club allow him to head to North America immediately after?

Kolosov has already signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Flyers and would be eligible to play immediately if so. The Flyers already waived Cal Petersen, and his alternative, Felix Sandstrom, has been just as dire in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. If Kolosov could come in and give the Flyers four or five games, it would be a huge boost for a group in desperate need of reinforcements in net.

In any case, Michkov is still a few years away. Kolosov and Minsk haven’t played any playoff games yet, so a potential resolution there will have to wait at least a week or two longer. Should one of or both players join the Flyers early, the organization will have Sochi, Khusnutdinov, and the Wild to thank for it.

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