Connect with us

Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens To Meet With Michkov, NHL Draft Options Clearer



Montreal Canadiens

With the 2023 NHL Entry Draft just a few days away, we’re starting to get a better idea of the players that should be available to the Montreal Canadiens with the 5th overall pick.

We can confidently say both Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli will be the 1st and 2nd overall picks, respectively. They both project as franchise-altering forwards, the type of players that both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks cannot afford to ignore.

And now we have a much better idea of who the Columbus Blue Jackets are intent on drafting with the 3rd overall pick.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekelainen was on the Rundown Podcast this week, discussing some of his team’s plans going forward.

He mentioned that scouting a player such as Russian phenom Matvei Michkov was rather difficult, owing to the ongoing illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, among other things.

“It’s obviously been harder with what’s going on in that side of the world,” said Kekelainen. “We’ve relied a lot on video. There’s no doubt he’s a great talent. We feel like we’re in a good spot as far as our evaluations go.”

The most interesting aspect of the interview was Kekelainen’s comments regarding the player they are intent on picking 3rd overall at the 2023 Draft: a “franchise centre”.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the Blue Jackets will draft Leo Carlsson, but when evaluating the remaining players expected to be in the top 5, there are only two options at centre.

Carlsson and Will Smith.

Smith may be one of the most talented players available in the draft, but unlike Carlsson, he has not been described as a franchise centre.

Carlsson, on the other hand, has been labelled as a franchise centre by scouts.

That leaves two likely options for the Canadiens in terms of players that are most often ranked among the top 5 available players at the Draft: Smith and Michkov.

In a sense, the San Jose Sharks, who are drafting 4th overall, might decide for the Canadiens.

Of course, we also can’t dismiss players like David Reinbacher or Ryan Leonard, both of whom have attracted interest from the Canadiens, but there is one thing working in Michkov’s favour just a few days ahead of the draft.

More Michkov News

It’s worth noting that the Montreal Canadiens will meet with Michkov ahead of the first round. Again, this is not confirmation that they’ll draft the extremely talented forward, but it’s a very strong indication that the Canadiens hold a significant interest in drafting Michkov at 5th overall.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Smokescreen to pump up his value at #5…and I like it!

Both Phil and Wash are VERY interested in getting Mich. In fact, some scouts are predicting that there’s more of a chance that Mich lands with Wash than any other team. And for all we know, a third team will throw their hat into this ring.

If Mich is still available come #5, then a trade down would bring in a haul for the Habs. That makes swallowing the PLD loss easier to digest.

As long as SJ doesn’t do anything “stupid” at #4, of course!


How does your opinion ALWAYS suck so hard? It’s incredible

Paul N Pembroke, Ont

I was thinking the same thing about them using it as a value booster for Michkov

As for PLD, I hope we dont trade for him. Rather keep Dach as 2nd centre at this time. Please learn from the Drouin trade as I view them in the same light.

Last edited 5 months ago by Paul N Pembroke, Ont

Kekelainen Is an extremely astute GM, for him to “let it slip” in a public interview is 100% intentional. It’s a strategic move to see if other teams will offer up the farm to flip picks and gain more assets as a result. In the end, I still think nothing happens and CLB take Carlsson anyway but that’s the games that get played at this time of year. Oh to be a fly on the wall in any of the teams’ war rooms right now…


Its an Interview
You reveal things you want the public to know.
We all assumed and ranked Carlson> Michkov
All he did was give his reason for his lack of interest in interviewing the Russian.

That said MTL didnt interview Slafkovsky either , we snubbed him to play mind games for some reason ill never understand as we had 1st OA pick. Its almost like he was trying to stick it to Wright or something as MTL outright declaring for Slafkovsky earlier i think results in NJD thinking hard about it as i believe Slafkovsky was their guy they were hoping for


There you go again making stuff up Billy. Montreal did indeed interview Slaf. They actually interviewed him twice.


More postering regarding this “important meeting”…

Seems highly UNLIKELY Habs stay at #5 AND take Mich. Not only is Wash a serious contender for the #5 spot, but the Flyers just upped the anti:

And, at the same time, there is now this:

So, it seems very likely the Habs will either move up one spot to get either Smith or Carlsson, or move down to either #7 (Phil) or #8 (Wash) and get a haul in return. There’s way too much smoke for this to not be a fire…

I much prefer the moving down and getting the haul in return…

Last edited 5 months ago by Mike Klynsma

Bedard -Generational
Michkov -Generational
Reinbacher-All Star
Leonard -All Star
Benson- 50/50 as he has the tools to be elite just not the consistency

Im gonna stop at Benson because its the difference between Suzuki and Teasdale who are both players the same size who competed head to head their final year junior in a memorial cup battle to remember. Teasdale outpaced Suzuki by a lot taking MVP and the Memorial cup but the consistency wasnt there at Suzuki’s pace consistently.

Benson could be Amazing 100% and an Elite Steal in the draft
But only time will tell as its all about how long he takes to adjust.
Suzuki was called out on his skating , he got a speed skating coach.
Teasdale was called out on his lack of size and packed on muscle after a series of injuries when he turned pro cause he was too small for the league. Teasdale’s thriving now as next man up in the AHL pecking order to jump to the NHL. In the end they’ll both end up Starters on the same team but their journey once turning pro despite how they finished Junior together was very different.

Benson IMO will be in the NHL within his first 12 months of being drafted.
His size is an issue but if Farrel can tack on 6lbs of muscle the last 2 years
No reason Benson cant although it woulda been better to think ahead like Caufield did.