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Matvei Michkov: The Canadian explains why he wasn’t selected

The Canadiens’ fifth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft finally settled on David Reinbacher.

We were all waiting to see which player would be chosen by the organization, and if we’re being honest, it’s fair to say that the desire of many was for the Habs to draft Matvei Michkov.

After all, we know the player’s talent. It’s undeniable. Michkov was seen as the second-best player in the draft behind Connor Bedard…

But I don’t need to explain why he slipped all the way to 7th, where the Flyers selected him.

Understandably, the organization had a choice to make. Either add an elite forward with the potential to become an NHL superstar, or go with a “safe” pick and select the defenseman from Austria.

The problem with Michkov was that there was too much risk and too much uncertainty. At least, that’s what Martin Lapointe had to say the day after the first round…

And the Director of Amateur Recruiting and Director of Player Personnel added that Mishkov’s defensive game was also a factor:

We didn’t disdain his talent, he’s very talented, competitive, works well at the bottom of the rink. On the other side of the rink, he’s a little less good, but you live with his mistakes. But also, there were so many unknowns, three years of waiting, so we leaned towards David. – Martin Lapointe

The Habs are transparent in their comments, and that’s a good thing. Lapointe even said, in a press conference, that Michkov was a bit of an unknown in the CH organization compared to the young defenseman…

Which made the scouting team’s decision that much easier. Reinbacher’s name was above Michkov’s on the CH’s list, by the way.

David Reinbacher isn’t a flashy player on the ice, compared to Michkov. But the defenseman has qualities that made him the best in his position in the 2023 draft, and that’s what attracted the organization.

Many would have liked to see the club take a risk and hit the home run by drafting the young Russian. Others feel that the Habs should never have taken a defenseman so high, given that this year’s draft was full of offensive talent.

But it’s Mishkov’s case that is (still) attracting attention almost 24 hours after the first round. After all, the CH is being criticized for its decision, and the criticism won’t go away overnight.

I have a feeling that, in the end, it could be a long time before Michkov is forgotten in Montreal. In fact, we’ll start to forget about him once we see how good a right-handed defenseman Reinbacher is, filling a glaring need in the CH organization.

It’s all part of the game.

Breaking news

– Therein lies the nuance.

– I like it.

– He has a great track record.

– Finally!

– Please don’t. Please.

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