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Matvei Michkov: the Blue Jackets would prefer Will Smith in the 4th spot

When you look at the top prospects in the upcoming draft, Matvei Michkov is a name that has people talking. In terms of pure talent, he’s of a similar caliber to Connor Bedard, but the fact that he may not leave Russia for the next three years seems to have teams worried.

Amongtheteams likely to have to make a decision about Michkov are the Blue Jackets, who have the second-best chance of winning the lottery (13.5%). That said, their most likely draft position is 4th, which means that two teams would pass them in the lottery.

(Credit: Screenshot/Tankathon)

And this is where Mishkov’s case gets interesting. Let me explain.

According to Aaron Portzline (a very hip guy on the Columbus side), he’s under the impression that, should Columbus drop to fourth place and Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli and Leo Carlsson emerge in the top-3, the Blue Jackets would turn to… Will Smith.Yes, ahead of Matvei Michkov.

Basically, Portzline senses that the Blue Jackets want to get competitive again quickly and aren’t necessarily prepared to wait three years for Michkov to come to town. Waiting a year (or less) for Smith would be a lesser evil for a team that recently signed Johnny Gaudreau at a high price. Once again, it’s important to remember that we’re still a long way from the draft and that there’s still time for many things to change. After all, if Kent Hughes is drafted fifth overall and the Blue Jackets select Will Smith fourth, the Habs will have to decide whether or not they’re ready to take a chance on Michkov(who Grant McCagg doesn’t necessarily see going in the first round, by the way).

Smith is often seen as the “safe” pick for the CH if he ends up at No. 5, but if he’s gone, the Tricolore will have to decide whether they want Michkov or another of the talented youngsters likely to emerge in the top-10.

Personally, I’d be happy to see Michkov drafted by the Habs, but I doubt he will be, even if he’s still available at No. 6. The question is whether the Tricolore will be lucky enough to select him, and if Portzline is right, the odds have just increased significantly.

In bursts

– Speaking of the Blue Jackets.

– Love the reaction,

– A name to watch.

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