Matvei Michkov did not even want to be drafted by the Washington Capitals, according to his agent Sergei Fedotov.
Fedotov made the comments to reporter Mikhail Zislis on Sport-Express’ Russian language YouTube show on Wednesday. The quotes were transcribed by sports.ru, and have been translated via Google Translate.
Michkov went to the Philadelphia Flyers (seventh overall) one pick before the Capitals were on the clock in the first round of the 2023 draft.
When asked about Michkov’s mysterious pre-draft process that included refusing to interview with specific teams, Fedotov first revealed that Michkov almost went second overall to the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks eventually ended up going with Swedish center Leo Carlsson.
“Anaheim scout Konstantin Krylov called me,” Fedotov said. “Our most legendary scout of NHL clubs. They had a video conference. Anaheim seriously considered Matvei Michkov.”
Fedotov went on to say that Michkov had his sights set on Philadelphia after his North American agent, Max Moliver held “negotiations” with the club. According to Fedotov, neither the Arizona Coyotes nor the Capitals were ever Michkov’s favorite suitors.
“The desire of Matvei himself – everything came together in this club,” Fedotov said. “The city, the region, the contract with SKA, the very desire of the player – everything came together.
“Yes, there was no desire to be in Arizona,” he continued. “There wasn’t at all. [Some kind of insider said], that it was deliberately started, that Matvei Michkov [wanted to go to] Washington. Matvei Michkov did not want to get into Washington. This desire was mutual.”
The insider report that Fedotov is referencing is likely one that came from Russian outlet Match TV several days before the draft that featured an “expert close to the teams that will be the first to choose in the 2023 draft.”
That source outlined their belief that Michkov would have a 99 percent chance of being picked by the Caps. The expert also said that the Caps would have little competition when it came to selecting him, adding that the San Jose Sharks at fourth overall were his only other potential landing spot.
“I did not refute, I do not have a telegram channel – that this is complete nonsense,” Fedotov said. “But this is complete nonsense. This is such a journalistic job, when a person himself came up with it, he himself passed it off as some kind of insider.”
Fedotov finished by reiterating that Michkov had no desire to be drafted by the Caps.
“I was asked the question, does Matvei regret that he did not get into Washington? I’m smiling,” Fedotov said. “He didn’t want to go to Washington. Arizona and Washington are two clubs that, for different reasons, were definitely [not].”
The comments differ from what Michkov himself said back in mid-May. When asked directly about the opportunity of joining the Caps, Michkov sounded positive about the idea.
“Yes, that would be great,” Michkov said. “But not everything depends on me. As fate wills, so be it. You just have to be ready for everything.”
Caps general manager Brian MacLellan indicated after the draft that he did try to move up from eighth overall. The common thought was that proposed move would be so that the Caps could draft Michkov.
The Caps were not able to complete that move and ended up standing pat. They selected Ryan Leonard, a feisty product out of the U-18 USA Hockey National Team Development Program that the team had much higher on their draft board than eighth.
Leonard just completed his first development camp with the team and had fans, teammates, and management raving about his potential. And, he was very happy to be selected by the Caps.
Screenshot via Philadelphia Flyers/YouTube
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