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2023 NHL Draft

Matvei Michkov, Skilled Russian Scorer, Could Be Caps’ Pick — If He Falls To No. 8



Matvei Michkov holds his gold medal.
Russian winger Matvei Michkov is ranked as the second-best international skater, according to NHL Central Scouting.

With a prospect pool as depleted as that of the Washington Capitals, the addition of a winger Matvei Michkov could effectively carry the team into its post-Ovechkin years.

Michkov, who NHL’s Central Scouting ranked as the No. 2 international skater, is arguably the biggest wildcard in the upcoming NHL draft. His talent as a puckhandler and as a scorer are widely praised, with one of the only questions in Washington appearing to be whether or not he’ll be on the board when the Capitals are on the clock at No. 8.

“Where Michkov will be taken in the draft is going to be in the conversation at every scouting meeting right up until draft day,” NHL Central Scouting vice president Dan Marr told

Before the 2023 NHL Draft kicks off on June 28, Washington Hockey Now
is taking a look at the prospects that could be in play
for the Washington Capitals’ No. 8 pick.

Click here for more insight on the draft’s prospects.

“If you’re strictly evaluating the on-ice play, then Michkov is one of the elite players in this draft class,” Marr said. “He has the potential to be in the conversation as of one of the elite players of this decade, same as Connor Bedard. If you factor in a healthy and stronger player, Michkov will be able influence games and have a similar impact on the scoreboard as Bedard.”

Unlike Bedard, however, Michkov’s landing in the NHL isn’t on the radar. He’s under contract in the KHL for three more seasons and, while it’s expected to be a long wait until Michkov comes stateside, his day-one impact stands to skyrocket in the interim.

“The three-year wait for Michkov won’t be pleasant,” The Athletic’s Max Bultman wrote, “but the payoff thereafter should be significant.”

Career Stats

2021-22Saint Petersburg SKAKHL1323502
2022-23Saint Petersburg SKAKHL300020
2022-23Sochi HCKHL2791120201
Stats via HockeyDB

Mock Draft Roundup

The Athletic’s Corey Pronman (2.0, June 14): 5th overall by the Detroit Red Wings (proposed trade)’s Adam Kimelman (June 11): 5th overall by the Montreal Canadiens’s Mike G. Morreale (June 11): 6th overall by the Arizona Coyotes

The Sporting News’ Bryan Murphy (3.0, June 7): 4th overall by the San Jose Sharks

Jared Serre covers the Washington Capitals for Washington Hockey Now. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.