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Draft: several top-7 teams in 2023 avoided the Russians in 2022
Last year, it was rumored that the Canadiens would not be drafting Russian players due to the political situation.

Before the draft, the Habs denied the rumour, but did not draft a Russian player. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but maybe the rumor was true.

This year, the same rumor came back. That said, with the Matvei Michkov case, it’s taking on greater importance.

After all, as you well know, the Canadiens may have to make a major choice if the four teams ahead of them choose to go for another player.

But on that subject, it’s worth noting that the Habsolument Fan site has come up with an interesting angle: which teams with a high pick in 2023 have chosen not to draft a Russian player in 2022?

Here are the rankings of the teams that will draft in the top-10 in 2023, and whether they chose to draft a Russian last year.

  • Blackhawks: NO
  • Ducks: YES
  • Blue Jackets: YES
  • Sharks : NO
  • Canadiens : NO
  • Coyotes : YES
  • Flyers : NO
  • Capitals : YES
  • Red Wings : YES
  • Blues : YES

Of course, this doesn’t tell the whole story. Perhaps it was a combination of circumstances. Maybe the facts have changed in the last year. The quality of Michkov’s play may tip the balance the other way in 2023.

But it’s still an element to consider – among many others.

What’s worth noting is that the Blackhawks and Ducks are expected to draft Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli. I don’t think Michkov can make the top-2 right now.

The Blue Jackets are likely to go for Will Smith or Leo Carlsson. They want a center.

This is where it’s interesting to note that the Sharks, who may have to decide between Michov and the player between Carlsson and Smith who will still be free, didn’t draft a Russian in 2022.

Again, that’s not the whole story. That said, it’s a factor that must be taken into account when trying to decide which team will draft a Russian this year.

I really believe that Michkov will be available to the Coyotes at No. 6 and that the CH will pass. We’re talking about a club that has two top-12 picks and wasn’t afraid to draft a Russian early in the second round last year.

And I have a hard time believing that the Arizona club will pass if he’s available. But that’s just me.

In gusts

– Interesting.

– Indeed.

– Of note.

– If Patrick Roy returns to the NHL, it will surely be with a say in decisions on the second floor. [BPM Sports]

– Not yesterday’s, anyway.

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