By Jenny Masters

Russian hockey club SKA St. Petersburg is releasing Matvei Michkov from his contractual obligations today, freeing him up to join the Flyers for the 2024-25 season, a team source and league sources confirmed Sunday.

The release will be granted on compassionate grounds, a league source said.

CAA’s JP Barry and Pat Brisson secured the rights to represent Michkov a few weeks ago and are working in collaboration with agent Paul Theofanous to have Michkov released. Michkov, 19, could join the Flyers in the United States in as little as one to two weeks, depending on the visa process, after his release.

The Flyers drafted Michkov with the seventh pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. The Flyers assumed he would not be available to them until the 2026-27 season, due do his contractual obligations with SKA, but reports out of Russia in recent weeks suggested that Michkov might be available to the Flyers as soon as next season.

The next step for the Flyers will be getting Michkov signed to a standard entry-level contract. Flyers general manager Daniel Briere said he believes Michkov would have been ready for the NHL last season had he been able to play in the U.S. right away.

Were it not for Michkov’s KHL deal, “he probably would have gone second or third in the draft and was probably ready to play pro immediately,” Briere said in April.

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