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“The next Matvei Michkov will be available at the next draft

We’ve only just finished with Matvei Michkov, and already another “Matvei Michkov” is making our eyes glaze over.

A certain 17-year-old Ivan Demidov has just collected 62 points in 41 MHL regular-season games. The young Russian is expected to go early in the 2024 draft.

As Marco D’Amico points out in the tweet below, it would be almost poetic to see the youngster drafted by the CH, who ignored Michkov at the last draft.

Unfortunately, Demidov is likely to go out early and I don’t believe in the Montrealers’ chances of drafting in the top-5 of the draft for a third consecutive year. Not because I’m a conspiracy theorist who thinks the lottery is rigged, but because the team will have a better season than the last two.

While Demidov’s geopolitical situation complicates matters, his file is not as complicated as that of his compatriot drafted by the Flyers. In fact, the center/right-winger has a contract in the KHL until 2025. The team wishing to select him, therefore, would only need to wait a year (unless he extends his contract in his home country).

Not only is Demidov the next Mishkov, he could be even better. In fact, according to Dylan Griffing, who, via his Twitter account, seems to be a connoisseur of Russian prospects, he’s “the best Russian prospect he’s ever seen”. That’s saying a lot considering the quality Russian prospects who have passed through the NHL over the years. I’m thinking of Mishkov, but also Alexander Ovechkin, Kirill Kaprizov, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk and so on.

As I mentioned, Demidov, clearly a name to remember, did well in the MHL. His 1.5 points per game rivals Mishkov’s 1.73 points per game.

Here are just a few of the youngster’s highlights:

He has such good hands and he’s so agile…

In short, the 2024 draft won’t feature Connor Bedard, but the top-3 really isn’t too shabby. Macklin Celebrini, Cole Eiserman and Demidov make up a very talented group. The three winning teams in the next lottery will have a very good player in their ranks, that’s for sure.

In brief

– Nick Bobrov’s track record is cause for concern.

– Kyle Dubas finds a familiar face.

– No surprises here.

– What a first round for him!

– Speaking of golf.

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