By Jenny Masters

The Flyers signed forward Matvei Michkov yesterday to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Michkov was selected in the first round, seventh overall, by the Flyers in the 2023 NHL Draft.

The concern heading into that draft was when the Perm, Russia native would come over to North America, as he had signed a contract with Kontinental Hockey League club SKA St. Petersburg that would carry through the 2026-27 season.

However, last week, it was announced SKA had released Michkov from his contract, opening the door for him to come to Philadelphia.

The 19-year-old has been one of the top up-and-coming prospects since he was 16. Michkov made his presence known at the 2021 IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship, and his stock has only escalated since making his KHL debut with St. Petersburg during the 2021-22 season.

While on loan with HK Sochi in 2022-23, Michkov scored 20 points in 27 games, posting the best point-per-game average (.67) by a draft-eligible player in league history. He spent all but one game with Sochi this past season, scoring 19 goals and 41 points in 47 games, finishing second on the team in scoring.

Due to the ban on Russia from competing in IIHF competitions over the last few years, Michkov has not had the opportunity to participate in a lot of best-on-best tournaments, though he has represented his country in smaller tournaments with the national Under-20 and Under-25 teams. He won silver with Russia at 2021 U-18s, and was one of the best players at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in 2021, leading the tournament in scoring while helping the Russians take home the gold medal.

Michkov is certainly not the biggest player, and at 5-foot-10, and he also isn’t the fastest. However, his puck-moving and playmaking abilities make him top-class, bringing a much-needed boost to a Flyers team that has struggled to find consistency for the better part of two decades.

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