Top of the lottery prospects: Michkov loaned to developmental league

After a five-point game in the KHL, SKA St. Petersburg sent Michkov to the MHL for a postseason chase.

On Feb. 26, Matvei Michkov played the best game of his short career.

In 15:32 for HK Sochi, Michkov scored one goal and added four assists in a 5-3 victory for Sochi over Kunlun Red Star.

The next day, Michkov was sent back to the MHL, Russia’s developmental league. However, the logic behind the move does make sense: SKA St. Petersburg loaned Michkov to Kapitan Stupino for the playoffs.

Michkov has since been Kapitan’s best player, scoring six points in two games, including four goals. He was previously on loan to Sochi and the destination change is likely due to SKA St. Petersburg doing what every NHL team wants them to do with Michkov: getting playoff experience for the young forward.

Michkov’s proving himself to be more than capable when the going gets tough. Besides, after 20 points in 27 games for Sochi, Michkov is not the player St. Petersburg initially loaned out. SKA will likely recall Michkov from the MHL when he’s done scoring in the playoffs, as St. Petersburg gets ready for a playoff run of their own.

In the time Michkov was with Sochi, the team won six games out of 27. While that’s not great, consider that Sochi had won just five of the other 41 games it’d played. Michkov is a player who improves whatever roster he’s on, even elevating the worst team in the KHL.

While Sochi is not close to escaping that bottom rung, it’s better off now than it was before Michkov was sent its way. Michkov is special. There’s a reason he moved up to second place on the latest ranking from Corey Pronman — the prospect guru for The Athletic.

Draft Michkov at No. 2 or later, dummies.