The first round of the 2023 NHL Draft will be held Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN.
Heading into the night, the biggest story continues to be Matvei Michkov and the Washington Capitals’ supposed interest in him.
Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek of the 32 Thoughts Podcast spoke about the latest they’ve heard up to this morning.
According to Friedman, the Philadelphia Flyers have convinced the Capitals enough through leaks and smokescreens that they’d take Michkov at number seven if he’s still available. This has made teams suspect that the Capitals are exploring ways to move up in the draft. One of their possible partners could be the Montreal Canadiens, who are willing to move down from the fifth selection.
Elliotte Friedman: I’ll tell you something else too. Nobody else thinks Montreal is done here, too. There’s a lot of teams that believe Montreal is willing to move down from 5.
Jeff Marek: Quick conversation here leading about the draft and leading into the first round. …For me, it’s a whole lot of Washington Capitals trying to move up, it’s a whole lot of ‘do they think Philadelphia may take Michkov, and they want to get ahead,’ do they want to go as high as five? There’s all kinds of stuff that’s out there. Is there one team overwhelming that you’re hearing the most about?
Elliotte Friedman: You know I think Anaheim. You talked about it a couple of podcasts ago, they all blend together right now, that guy could do anything. You had someone who texted you and said he could take Michkov. I think people who do believe that. If I was picking two, I’m picking (Adam) Fantilli. He might take him. He might take him, but I’m not convinced he’ll do it. I think he could throw a curve ball right at the second pick. I think Columbus is keeping the pick. I texted (Blue Jackets’ GM Jarmo) Kekalainen a couple weeks ago and he basically said the number three pick is not available. I don’t think it is. I think San Jose keeps the pick. And then I think there’s Montreal at five — they’re willing to move down. Arizona, he could do anything at six. I think Philly has done a great job of smokescreens this week. They’ve got people convinced they’re taking Michkov. They’ve got people convinced they’re taking Ryan Leonard.
Jeff Marek: He does, by the way, look like a Philadelphia player. That looks like a Flyer.
Elliotte Friedman: I’ll say this at the very least, Philadelphia has convinced Washington that they could take Michkov. I know some teams have suspected Washington of ‘Alright, are we going to move up to leap frog them?’ Those are the types of places I’m looking at.
Meanwhile, Michkov has been posting images from Nashville on his Instagram Story, including signing cards for Upper Deck and meeting with Hockey Hall of Famer, Jarome Iginla.
The Capitals hold the eighth selection in tonight’s draft. It’s the highest they’ve picked since 2007, when they selected defenseman Karl Alzner fifth overall.
Where do you think Michkov will land?
Headline photo: @matvey_michkov39/IG
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