Film Room: Matvei Michkov's hockey genius makes him worth the wait
Matvei Michkov is the most fascinating prospect in the 2023 NHL Draft.
Blessed with incredibly rare natural ability that propelled him to near-generational status not all that long, Michkov has since only added new layers to his game and continued to dominate at every level. The situation surrounding him has changed, though, creating additional unpredictability around his future.
Given Russia's horrific, illegal invasion of Ukraine, Michkov hasn't appeared in any real international competition for a year and a half, limiting his exposure and depriving him of chances to further prove himself against his first-time draft-eligible peers. Then there's the KHL contract situation which has him signed with SKA St. Petersburg through 2026, casting uncertainty around when he'll be able to make the jump to North America.
Put that all together and it makes pinpointing Michkov's draft spot an exceptionally difficult exercise. Barring something extraordinary, he won't challenge for the first two picks, but after that, it's anyone's guess. He could go third. He could even drop outside of the first 10 picks. The most likely outcome probably sees him go between those two extremes.
Make no mistake about it, though: On pure talent, only Connor Bedard matches or surpasses what Michkov brings to the table.
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