by J.T. Toth
Photo of Matvei Michkov courtesy of PHOTO.KHL.RU
The 2023 NHL Draft will be here before you know it, and Draft 412 will preview some of the prospects who will be probable first-round picks. Draft 412 will go over the strengths and weaknesses of each prospect and where they should land in the NHL Draft. The lottery is scheduled for May 8th, so we will have a better idea of where these prospects will be when the Pittsburgh Penguins make their first-round pick.
Name- Matvei Michkov
Team- HK Sochi (KHL)
HT/WT- 5’10” 165 lbs.
Home - Perm, Russia
It is possible that Matvei Michkov may be the best Russian to come out since Alex Ovechkin. Yes, I said it—Michkov might be as good as the “Great 8” of the Washington Capitals fame.
If you watch film on Michkov, its quickly obvious he has no offensive deficiencies. He literally is good to great at every facet of the offensive game—speed, skating, stick handling, vision, lateral movement—Michkov has it all. An aggressive skater, Michkov is not afraid to put his team on his shoulders and take over games.
Videos of Michkov show several highlight type goals including the famous “Michigan lacrosse goal.” One of, if not the best playmaker in this draft, his stick handling ability is notable, and he brings a heavy shot for a skater his size. A total package on offense, Michkov will help an NHL team sell tickets for years.
If there is a concern, Michkov remains under contract with SKA St. Petersburg through the 2025-2026 season, meaning that any NHL team drafting him will have to wait a few years for him to enter their lineup. This is not unprecedented. Minnesota in 2015 drafted Kirill Kaprizov and had to patiently wait until 2020 for him to enter their lineup. T
he difference between the two, however, is that Kaprizov was a 5th round pick, and Michkov will be a first.
Michkov’s size has been a concern in scouting circles, and many think he needs to add body strength. At times, Michkov does not use his teammates as he should and gets tunnel vision with the puck. He will need to learn how to trust his teammates and learn how to play within a system.
Two years ago, scouts were talking about Michkov being able to compete for first overall pick with Connor Bedard. His spot in this draft will depend on which team will have the patience to wait for Michkov to come to the NHL. This pick will fe
el like an MLB pick where you draft a future superstar but have to wait 3-4 years to reap the benefits.
Round 1- Top 5 / #2 on Draft 412 big board.
Closeup photo of Matvei Michkov.
St. Petersburg SKA
St. Petersburg SKA