Controversial statement: Kent Hughes could hit a home run by drafting Matvei Michkov and Will Smith

Elias Edmonson
June 8, 2023  (3:08 PM)

Until May 8, the day of the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery, the name on everyone's lips was of course Connor Bedard's, as all hockey fans were eager to know which team this generational talent would join.

However, with Bedard's spot secured, it is Russian forward Matvei Michkov that everyone has been talking about in recent weeks, who presents a huge puzzle for many teams.
Considered another exceptionally talented player, Michkov is widely recognized as the second most talented player in the draft. Journalist Corey Pronman, from The Athletic, even considers him the player with the highest potential in the auction, ahead of Connor Bedard!
The Russian factor and the fact that he won't be able to come play in North America until 2026, at the end of his KHL contract, however, make many scouts and general managers doubtful.
On this topic, the site eliteprospects.com reports in its draft guide that more and more experts consider it realistic to see Michkov being selected outside of the top 10! Wow!

It's hard to believe that at least ten general managers could pass up on a prospect as talented as Michkov. Especially since he will be present at the draft and has expressed his intention to play in North America.
You can guess that this is a controversial statement.
The team that dares to select Michkov could thus benefit, in a few years, from the arrival of a 21-year-old player who has benefited from three additional years of development in Russia and is already ready to dominate, like Kirill Kaprizov and Artemi Panarin, upon their arrival in the NHL.
Could Kent Hughes be this patient GM who will set his sights on Michkov?
Either way, in my opinion, it should be a "no-brainer" for the Canadiens if Matvei Michkov is still available at the 5th overall draft spot.
However, if Kent Hughes overlooks him at the 5th overall spot and Michkov actually does slide outside the top 10 as some seem to think, could the Montreal Canadiens' general manager make a big move?
Hughes could arrange a trade to get the 11th, 12th, 13th, or even 14th overall pick to draft Michkov.
We absolutely don't believe it, by the way, but it comes from some experts.
Credit: Dans les coulisses
8 JUIN   |   468 ANSWERS
Controversial statement: Kent Hughes could hit a home run by drafting Matvei Michkov and Will Smith

Would Matvei Michkov be your choice for the Canadiens if he is available at the 5th pick?

Yes28661.1 %
No8417.9 %
Yes, but il take Will Smith first9820.9 %
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