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Elliotte Friedman: interest in Matvei Michkov is stronger than ever

We’re all waiting to see where Matvei Michkov ends up tomorrow night in the first round of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

In recent weeks, his case seemed so uncertain due to the geopolitical situation and his contract in Russia that some thought he would slip out of the top-10.

Yes, despite the fact that he’s one of this year’s hottest prospects.

But things have changed. Things have changed to the point where, right now, interest in the Russian is stronger than ever.

Elliotte Friedman told the Habs Fan TV boys last night that, across the NHL right now, they don’t think he’ll be available after the Flyers draft him 7th overall.

The situation, which seemed very ambiguous at times, seems to be clearing up. And that’s good.

What does this mean for the Capitals?

I ask because we know that Washington is interested in Michkov. Brian MacLellan (Caps GM) might have to move up a few levels if he really, really wants to get his hands on the young player.

The Flyers are also said to be very interested in the player who is stealing the show from Connor Bedard. If Michkov is still available in the fifth spot, Kent Hughes should be able to use him to talk to the Flyers and Capitals…

And the CH DG could take advantage of this to obtain an interesting return in the event of clubs fighting to select Matvei Michkov. That’s if the CH has no intention of selecting him, of course.

In the same clip above, Friedman briefly considers the case of Pierre-Luc Dubois. He reminds us that the Kings are the current favourites to get the Quebecer… Which we already knew.

It’s still interesting, though, since the Sportsnet tipster jumps straight to the case of Matvei Michkov after talking about Dubois.

It’s as if he’s giving the impression that the two cases are linked, and it’s as if the decision to draft (or not) Michkov could influence the CH to make another serious attempt to acquire Dubois…

But to me, that’s not the case.

Rather, I get the impression that Friedman wanted to emphasize the importance of selecting Mishkov tomorrow night. That, after all, is what we’ll be watching between now and tomorrow.

Friedman goes on to say that the Habs could move down a few rungs if they can’t land the player they want in the fifth spot. Is he talking about Will Smith? Leo Carlsson? Ryan Leonard?

After all, the players I’ve just named may not be available when the Habs take to the podium to announce their selection. The Blue Jackets are considering drafting Smith OR Carlsson…

While the Sharks seem to have a real interest in Leonard.

The questions that need to be asked are the following. If the player the Flanelle are targeting is no longer there at No. 5, and Kent Hughes is considering moving down a few rungs, is he ready to move back out of the top-10?

Does he still want a top-10 pick, considering the talent in the next crop?

I know. That’s a lot of question marks. But that’s what the 2023 draft is all about. And that’s why excitement is at an all-time high across the NHL right now, with just over 24 hours to go before the first round.

In Brief

– We’ll see.

– The Sens are shaking things up as the draft approaches.

– In his rookie season, Wyatt Johnson did well. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be able to keep up the momentum.

– He stole the show, again.

– Big news in the tennis world.

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