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June 23, 2024

Report: Matvei Michkov leaving KHL, joining Flyers

Word broke Sunday that the Flyers' top prospect is leaving the KHL for North America, the NHL, and the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Matvei-Michkov-NHL-Draft-Stage-2023.jpg Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

Matvei Michkov is on his way.

Matvei Michkov is going to be on his way. 

The seventh overall pick from last summer's NHL Draft, and the top prospect that the Flyers are staking a large part of their rebuild ambitions on, is reportedly leaving Russia and the KHL to head to North America and the NHL. 

In other words, Michkov is drawing extremely close to becoming a Philadelphia Flyer – per The Fourth Period's Anthony Di Marco, Hockey News Hub on X (AKA Twitter), and The Athletic's Kevin Kurz.

Furthermore, there is confirmation that Michkov has been released from his Russian club SKA St. Petersburg via The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jackie Spiegel and NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall.

Michkov had two years remaining on his KHL contract, but rumblings about an arrival to the Flyers ahead of schedule started in late April, when SKA St. Petersburg chairman Alexander Medvedev talked about the 19-year old winger's future in an interview with one of the country's sports outlets in Match TV.

In the discussion, Medvedev highlighted the awareness that Michkov is an NHL star in the making, the Flyers' desire to bring him over, acknowledgment of a good relationship between the two clubs, and a hint toward some sort of decision on Michkov's immediate future by the end of June. 

And the smoke only grew thicker as the weeks went by. 

Flyers GM Danny Brière, president of hockey ops Keith Jones, and team governor Dan Hilferty kept their cards close to the vest on the matter, but all the while, more and more rumors started flowing out of Russia, SKA St. Petersburg execs didn't shy away from talking about Michkov's path to the NHL, and an increasingly curious amount of videos and photos were posted to Michkov's social media channels of him in Flyers gear

Which has all carried into the end of this week in late June.

"As far as I know, I don't have a date," Brière said, holding back a laugh during his pre-draft media availability in Voorhees on Thursday. "We're kind of at the mercy of what [SKA St. Petersburg and the KHL] decide to do over there with him.

"If you would have asked me, and you probably did at the end of the season – maybe that wasn't out there, but maybe a couple of weeks after the season when those rumors started swirling, I’d probably say ‘Well, we should know by the end of June,' and here we are now getting closer to it and we still don't know much more. So I don't have much more of an answer."

But a few days' time might have changed that. 

"For us, it doesn't change," Brière continued. "If they tell us he's coming on September 1, we'll jump on it. The mindset for us is still we're going into next season without him. He has two years left on his contract. If something changes from today until then, we'll certainly be happy. But I don't have much news on that. We read what's going on and we hope for the best."

The Flyers may have just gotten it.

This is a developing story...

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