Flyers sign Michkov to three-year, entry-level contract

Matvei Michkov

VOORHEES, N.J. – How quickly things have changed for the Flyers’ quest to get highly regarded draft pick Matvei Michkov into an orange, black and white uniform.

Just a few months ago it didn’t look like the Russian-born player was going to be able to get out of his Kontinental Hockey League three-year contract overseas.

But then things began to move in early May when the National Hockey League and the KHL appeared to reach an agreement.

Just last week, Michkov was allowed to get out of his contract with SKA.

Then, on Monday afternoon it was announced the Flyers had signed Michkov to a three-year, entry-level contract, according to general manager Daniel Briere.

Otherwise, it was a quiet day on the opening day of NHL free-agency for the Flyers. They did not sign any free agents, partly due to their salary cap situation, and also because they appear determined to stick to their rebuild program.

Michkov was the first (7th overall) of the Flyers’ two first-round picks of the 2023 NHL Draft.

“We’re excited to have Matvei under contract and we look forward to him joining our team at training camp in September,” said Brière, who said he expects Michkov to play in the NHL next season. “We’ve kept a close eye on his development since the draft and to be able to add a player like Matvei, who brings a high-level of talent, skill and game-breaking abilities, he will be a key piece to our future.”

Michkov made it clear he wants to live up to the Flyers’ hopes.

“I’m extremely happy to officially become a part of the Flyers family,” said Michkov. “Being in the NHL has been a dream for me since childhood. I would like to say a huge thank you to the Flyers management for their trust. I will do everything possible to meet their expectations.

“I can’t wait to join my teammates and start preparing for the new season together, and I would especially like to greet our fans. We have the same dream to win the Stanley Cup and I promise that will do my best to help this team and make that possible.”

During a press briefing at the Flyers Training Center, Briere expanded his thoughts on Michkov.

“There was a lot of things that needed to happen in the background but that was mostly for him,” Briere said. “It was nice when we finally had the chance to start talking to his agent and get this deal done.

“We never thought when we drafted him last summer that this would result in him coming over a year later. So that’s really exciting.”

Michkov, 19, spent a majority of last season with HC Sochi of the KHL where he recorded 19 goals and 22 assists for 41 points in 47 games. He was property of SKA St. Petersburg, where he appeared in one game before being loaned to HC Sochi for the remainder of the season.

The 5-foot-10, 176-pound right wing led Sochi in goals (19), ranked second in overall points (41) and was third on the team in assists (22). During the season he recorded 11 multipoint games, including three three-point games, five separate three-game point streaks, including one four-game point streak as an Under-20 year old player. He finished the season with five goals and eight points in his last nine games.

Briere said Michkov will not attend this week’s development camp and probably won’t be here until September’s training camp.

When he does get here, Briere is confident the player will be coached the right way by veteran bench boss John Tortorella.

“This is the chance for Matvei to learn from a coach like ‘Torts’ and I know he’s going to coach him the right way,” Briere said. “He’s going to be tough on him, he’s going to be fair. And he’s going to teach him the right way.

“He’s going to come here and nothing is going to be given to him. He’s going to have to earn it. Knowing how competitive we’ve been told he is, it’s going to be fun to see. He’s got a lot to learn and he’s not going to be put above anybody else.”

Can Michkov become the kind of player that a rebuilding team can kind of build around?

“It’s a little bit early to tell,” Briere said. “We’ve watched him on tape. It’s exciting. You see the stuff he pulls off. You can’t wait to see that on the Flyers but at the same time we have to be careful, we won’t know how it’s going to work out. I think it’s a little early but he has special skills. Patience is the key here.”

 

>Hathaway re-signed

 

The Flyers were so impressed with Garnet Hathaway’s performance in his first year with the team, they decided to re-sign him for two more years at $2.4 million per season.

“Garnet has been a great addition to our team and we’re very happy to extend him to be a Flyer for the next several seasons,” Briere said. “His style of play and level of professionalism had a big effect on our group last season and he embodies the standard our team set out to build both on and off the ice.”

 

>Johnson gets extension

 

Defenseman Erik Johnson received a one-year contract extension woth $1 million.

Johnson, 35, appeared in 17 games for the Flyers last season when he recorded two goals and one assist. He spent the majority of the season with Buffalo. He was traded to Philadelphia for a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL draft.

 

 

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About Wayne Fish 2473 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.