Wednesday night was the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft. The Flyers had two picks and made good use of them.
Here is a recap of the sections:
Matvei Michkov: a potential superstar
The 18 years old from SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL is coming to Philadelphia by getting drafted at 7. This is a bit surprising but very exciting news for the Flyers fans. The fact that other teams didn’t take the risk by taking Michkov is a perfect scenario for the Flyers that may have found a potential superstar for the future. The fact that Michkov still has a contract until 2026 isn’t a problem for the Flyers organization because they aren’t planning to be competitive in the next 2 years at least.
Michkov is an 18-year-old prospect that already plays with big guys in the KHL. Playing in the second-best league in the world will help him improve but also be ready for the NHL when he comes. He made 109 points, 70 goals in 26 games with the Lokomotiv-2004 Yaroslavl U16 in 2019-2020. Also, he is actually 0.67 points per game in 30 games in the KHL.
There is a lot to be happy about as an organization and a fan base especially since he seems happy to be a Flyer.
Oliver Bonk: a surprising pick
The Flyers took, with a bit of surprise considering the players that could have been drafted, Oliver Book as the 22nd overall selection.
Oliver Bonk is a Canadian from Ottawa that is 18 years old that played for the London Knight for the past season. He scored 10 goals and made 40 points in 67 games in the 2022-2023 season in the OHL.
He is a right-handed defenseman, 6’2″ and 176 lbs that could have an impact on the Flyers in the future. Only time will tell but the organization should be confident with the success that head coach Joh Torterella can have with young players like we saw last season.
The rebuild is starting
With the rebuild starting for the Flyers, it’s encouraging to see that the Flyers organization is taking the right step with a new front office that brings confidence. It may be difficult in the next few seasons to see this team barely be competitive but as president of hockey operations Keith Jones said, “It won’t take as much time as everyone can think.”
Here is the full 2023 Flyers draft class: