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Matvei Michkov: the Blackhawks hold him in (very) high esteem

If there’s one thing that seems set in stone ahead of the NHL Draft, it’s that Connor Bedard will be drafted first overall on June 28. The young Canadian forward, seen as a generational prospect, is expected to don a Chicago Blackhawks jersey early this evening.

And with good reason: we’re talking about a young man bursting with talent who has everything it takes to become one of the best players on the circuit within the next few years.

That said, behind Bedard, there are other excellent young players. Among them is Matvei Michkov, a young Russian forward who also has the potential to become an elite-calibre forward on the Bettman circuit.

And even the Blackhawks believe this, because in a recent interview with Scott Powers (The Athletic), Chicago’s director of amateur scouting, Mike Doneghey, made no secret of the fact: his club holds the young Russian forward in the highest regard.

That doesn’t mean they’ll draft him first overall. That said, they see him as a very valuable prospect, and Doneghey is quick to point out that, not so long ago, there was a race between Bedard and Michkov to be selected first overall.

The situation in Russia has changed a little since then, and Bedard has amazed North America, so he’s pretty much secured the top spot, but on the ice, we’re talking about two guys between whom the gap isn’t necessarily huge.

As for his contractual situation, the Blackhawks aren’t really worried about it. Doneghey has the impression that the youngster wants to get to the NHL as soon as possible, and in any case, he points out that guys like Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson and Will Smith aren’t necessarily likely to be playing in the Bettman circuit next year.

In his opinion, Bedard is probably the only one who could make the leap next year.

Don’t hold your breath: Connor Bedard will be drafted first overall by the Blackhawks. That said, if the club hadn’t inherited the first pick, you get the feeling that it wouldn’t necessarily have been unfortunate to select a guy like Michkov in the third spot, when he would have represented quite a value in their eyes.

Let’s hope the CH thinks the same way if the Russian is still available at No. 5 (although, again, I highly doubt it).

In gusts

– Indeed.

– To listen.

– News from good old Jacob de la Rose.

– Logical.

– Well done.

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