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Playing time: Mishkov’s case is different from that of other Russian hopefuls
Matvei Michkov played his first KHL game of the season earlier this week after being left out of the first two games for SKA St. Petersburg.

He finished the duel with a playing time of 6 minutes and 12 seconds, which isn’t much…

Today, the Flyers prospect once again watched his team’s game from the bridge. The team doesn’t seem ready to give him an important role in the line-up, which is why I wrote in a previous article that SKA will have to act sooner or later for the young man’s sake.

Because if he doesn’t play, he’ll never progress.

But in Russia, the idea of not letting young players play much is popular. Kevin Dubé of the Journal de Québec found examples that compare with the Flyers prospect’s situation:

  • Valeri Podkolzin, drafted 10th overall by the Canucks in 2019, had an average playing time of 8 minutes and 49 seconds in the KHL the year after his draft selection
  • Danila Yurov, drafted 24th overall by the Wild in 2022, had an average playing time of 8 minutes and 5 seconds the year after his draft selection
  • Rodion Amirov, drafted 15th overall by the Leafs in 2020, had an average playing time of 13 minutes and 54 seconds in the KHL the year after his draft selection
  • Ivan Mirochnitchenko, drafted 22nd overall by the Caps in 2022, had an average playing time of 8 minutes and 27 seconds in the KHL the year following his draft selection
The journalist gives other examples of players who were selected in the last draft (Daniil But, Mikhail Gulyayev) and who, at present, are not getting decent playing time in the KHL.

His article can be found right here :

It’s true that, at first glance, it may seem similar…

But there’s a certain difference between the Michkov case and that of the players named above. The latter is basically seen as a generational player in the eyes of many… And it seems to me that it would simply make sense to give him ice cream from that perspective.

It’s not negative, far from it. But… If Mishkov is Connor Bedard 2.0, why isn’t he playing? Why doesn’t SKA trust him, even though he’s shown that he can be productive playing with men, putting up 20 points in 27 games after being loaned out to Sochi last season?

That’s what’s hard to understand. Because even in preparatory games, Mishkov was racking up points with ease, and he seemed to be that club’s offensive leader.

Alex Romanov also comes to mind. Let’s not forget that the former CH player had a minimal role when he made his KHL debut…

But Romanov wasn’t a top-10 pick in the KHL, and he wasn’t seen as the number-one contender to Rasmus Dahlin, who was the first overall pick in the 2018 draft.

Therein lies the nuance.

In gusts

– Do they have what it takes to qualify for the playoffs?

– He’s so, so impressive to see go.

– This is out of the ordinary.

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