It has been a long time since the Flyers had a true Super Star. Claude Giroux was a great player. But he was a Robin without a Batman. At his peak, he would have been the perfect star to pair with an elite goal scorer. But his best season saw him score 35 goals. What the Flyers have needed is the type of guy who can score 40 or 50 goals every season. Jeff Carter did it once for them. Simon Gagne did it a couple of times. But before that, you would have to go back to John LeClair and Eric Lindros to find guys who could do it every year. Enter Matvei Michkov.
Last night they selected him with the 7th overall pick. He was billed as the 2nd best prospect in the draft behind Connor Bedard. But there is a reason he fell to 7. It could be 3 years before he even plays in the NHL. He currently is under contract for 3 more seasons in the KHL. Money can talk and that contract could be broken early. But there is a chance he doesn’t play in the NHL until 2026-2027. Not to mention the volatile situation over in Russia complicating things for every player still over in Russia. So it is a big risk taking him so highly.
That risk is worth it though. Matvei Michkov is drawing comparisons to Alexander Ovechkin. You know, the guy who has been perhaps the most prolific goal scorer of the past two decades and is knocking on the door of Wayne Gretzky’s record. He has posted similar numbers to Ovechkin over in the KHL. In just 27 games he scored 9 goals, 20 points, and got off a staggering 97 shots. That is as an 18-year-old in a professional league playing with grown men. Michkov has Super Star potential. If he pans out, he is the type of prospect that can change a team.
Will he be just as good as Ovechkin? Probably not. But if he is half as good as Ovechkin he would be a better goal scorer than anyone the Flyers have had in recent memory.
And the Flyers are in a perfect position to take this risk. Let’s face it, they won’t be good this year, or next year. We should get used to them picking in the top 10, and maybe even top 5. This rebuild will take a while. So it makes sense that they would be willing to spend a high pick on a guy who may be 3 years away from playing for the team.
As fans, we have seen other supposedly safe picks blow up in our faces. Nolan Patrick was supposed to be a star. Never happened. Ivan Porvorov was supposed to be the next great Flyers defender. Never happened. So why not roll the dice a bit? So what if we don’t see him until 2026? We already may not see Cutter Gauthier in the NHL for at least one more year, maybe two.
If this kid reaches his potential, he could finally give the Flyers a prolific goal scorer we have all been waiting for. We waited over two decades for them to replace Lindros and LeClair. I think we can wait for 3 more if the payoff is someone as good as Alex Ovechkin.
8 Games Worth Anticipating On The Flyers Schedule Next Season