Related: Connor Bedard
Matvei Michkov is the other generational talent in the 2023 draft, but because he is still under contract with SKA St.Petersburg until 2025, he isn’t getting the same buzz as Connor Bedard.
The Russian factor doesn’t help either, given the current political climate in Russia, as teams don’t know if they will be able to get the player to come over and play. Despite this, Michkov is arguably the most natural goal scorer in the lineup, and when healthy is as big of an impact player on his team as Connor Bedard is. Michkov is a dynamic winger, with excellent hockey sense, hands, passing skills, and a wicked quick release on his shot. In terms of pure talent, Matvei Michkov is arguably the best player in the draft, some like him even better than Bedard.
Physical Play Average
Offensive Play Excellent
Defensive Play Average
Hockey Sense Excellent
1. Dynamic goal scorer with quick hands and a wicked release on his shot.
2. A threat on the power play as both a goals scorer and playmaker.
3. Has excellent hockey sense and vision with allows him to maximize his own and his teammate’s skills.
Areas of Improvement
1. He needs to improve his effort on the defensive side of the puck.
2. Has a tendency to float around when he doesn’t have the puck.
Matvei Michkov is arguably the best Russian player to come out of Russia since Alex Ovechkin, which is saying a lot. Michkov is special, he has dominated the Russian Junior ranks in ways that are uncommon; as a 17-year-old tore up the MHL, which is absurd. Michkov made his name known to the hockey world when he dominated the Russian U16 league, scoring 70 goals and 109 points in 26 games, which is a 2.69 Goals-per game average and a 4.19 Points per game average. He continued his dominance in the MHL as a 16-year-old, scoring 35 goals and 52 points in 50 games, as well as 3 points in 5 playoff games playing with SKA-1946 St. Petersburg.
With Russian at the U18s, he was utterly dominant, and was Russia’s best player in the tournament; he scored a whopping 12 goals and 16 points in 7 games. Michkov continued to be dominant in the 2021-22 season in the MHL ranks; he scored 22 goals and 38 points in 22 games, then 13 goals and 17 points in 17 playoff games, helping SKA-1946 St. Petersburg win the Championship. Michkov is a superstar in the making, he always seems to be steps ahead of plays, due to his superb Hockey IQ, world-class hands, and his unreal release on his shot. If you watch him play on film, always seems to be making his opponents look like complete fools and his confidence to do highly skilled moves under pressure with very little time, is what will make him a superstar. My NHL Comparable for Michkov is a mix of Alex Ovechkin and Alexei Kovalev because he plays like a mash-up of those two players. Michkov would seriously be in the consideration to be the first overall pick if he wasn’t committed to SKA St. Petersburg until the 2025-26 season, but because of his contract status and the Russian Factor, it would not be shocking if he drops to 3rd in the draft.
Skill: A Dynamic superstar with a deadly shot, quick hands and excellent hockey sense
NHL Comparable: Alex Ovechkin/Alexei Kovalev
NHL Potential: NHL Superstar
|2020-21||SKA-1946 St. Petersburg||MHL||50||35||52|
|2021-22||SKA-1946 St. Petersburg||MHL||22||22||38|