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Could Matvei Michkov join Flyers before 2026-27 season?

The Flyers' top prospect had 41 points in 47 games playing on loan with Sochi this season

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It's not a secret that the Flyers would love to have Matvei Michkov as soon as possible.

What's also not a secret is the decision very much being out of their hands.

The Flyers' top prospect has two more years left on his three-year contract with the KHL's SKA St. Petersburg. If Michkov fulfills that commitment, the Flyers will see him in 2026-27.

"Look, if there's an opportunity, we would jump on it to get him here quicker," Flyers general manager Danny Briere said a week and a half ago. "But as far as I know, at the moment, it's still the same timeline. ... On his end, he would have to find a way out of his deal before we can do anything. So that's kind of out of our control. As far as I know, we have to wait two more years.

"Believe me, we keep watching him, we have heavy interest in what he does. He had a tremendous year, it was fun to see some of the highlights. But, at this time, I don't hold too much hope that we'll be able to get him out sooner."

But is it possible the talented 19-year-old forward arrives earlier? That call boils down to SKA St. Petersburg. And perhaps there's a chance the club would be open to it.

According to a story published Tuesday on the website of Match TV, a Russian media outlet, SKA St. Petersburg chairman Alexander Medvedev said the club has "very good relations" with the Flyers' front office and "will talk about all the options" with Michkov. However, Medvedev also noted that "it's too early to talk about this because legally Michkov is under a contract with SKA" and the Flyers have "sent us their assurances that they would not commit any violations of contractual rights."

More: How Flyers prospect Michkov's rise was evident in 'a title fight'

Flyers fans may be holding out hope after seeing Ivan Fedotov's sudden arrival a month ago just a year into his new two-year commitment with CSKA Moscow. But the circumstances were significantly different. The goaltender is 27 years old, had already signed his entry-level contract with the Flyers in May 2022 and even fulfilled military duty in Russia.

Michkov has not played a whole lot for SKA St. Petersburg, one of the premier teams in Russia's top pro league. This season, after sitting for three games and playing just 6:12 minutes in his lone appearance, Michkov was loaned from SKA St. Petersburg to Sochi, a lesser KHL team. He put up 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists) in 47 games.

You'd have to think a powerful team like SKA St. Petersburg would want Michkov to play at least a full season before making any kind of decision on his future. But you never know for certain.

"Matvei was extremely frustrated not playing," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said last September. "He had a goal of being the top scorer in the league and he was sitting there. They have 40-something players on their roster. Obviously he was frustrated. As a young guy in Russia, you kind of have to bite your tongue and just put in the work and hopefully you get to play."

h/t PHLY Sports contributor Alexander Appleyard.

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