Prospects News & Rumors: McTavish, Michkov & Lundkvist

Peterborough Petes forward and 2021 top prospect Mason McTavish record his first professional hat trick while on loan in Switzerland with EHC Olten. Sixteen-year-old Russian forward Matvei Michkov signed a five-year contract with SKA that will keep him in Russia until the 2025-26 season. New York Rangers prospect Nils Lundkvist is having another impressive SHL season and is leading all defenseman in goal scoring.

McTavish Records First Professional Hat Trick

Earlier this month, Peterborough Petes forward Mason McTavish finally secured a loan to EHC Olten in Switzerland. Before their games yesterday afternoon he had two goals and two assists for four points in eight games played. He broke out in a big way in EHC Olten’s 9-2 victory over EHC Winterthur in which he recorded his first career professional hat trick.

In November, Mason McTavish attempted to secure a loan to EHC Olten, but was denied because he did not have a Swiss passport and was not allowed to enter the country from Canada despite that he was born in Rapperswil, Switzerland, where his dad played professional hockey for 10 seasons.

He was drafted fifth overall by the Petes in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection and amassed 29 goals and 13 assists for 42 points in 57 games played during his rookie season. THW’s Josh Bell summarized McTavish’s skill set in his 5 OHL Players to Watch article earlier this year:

The 6-foot-1, 196-pound centreman gets ahold of the puck and never lets it go. He uses his body to protect the puck extremely well, rarely giving up turnovers. He’ll maintain this while driving to the net, deep in traffic, and still manage to get a shot off. Yeah, he’s pretty impressive. He also uses his body to knock players off the puck, showing that he knows how to use his size very well. And then there’s his shot. Oh boy, that shot. McTavish can rip it like no one’s business, getting all of his weight behind his wrist shot and firing off an extremely accurate chance. 29 goals for a rookie don’t lie. 

McTavish led all 2003-born players in both goals (29) and points (42) during the 2019-20 OHL season. He plays with fellow OHL forward and 2021 draft-eligible talent Brennan Othmann, who secured his loan to EHC Olten in November. McTavish currently has five goals and two assists for seven points in nine games played. Both McTavish and Othmann will return to the OHL once their plans for a 2020-21 season are finalized.

Michkov Signs 5-Year KHL Contract

Matvei Michkov is back in the headlines today, but not for the usual reason of him breaking records and scoring goals for fun. The Russian phenom has signed a five-year contract with SKA that will keep him in Russia until the 2025-26 season. This means that he will stay in Russia three years beyond his draft year of 2023. It’s not uncommon for Russian players to take this route, we’ve seen the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Evgeni Malkin and Artemi Panarin stay in their home country well beyond their draft year. In fact, Alexander Ovechkin is really the only exception to the status quo. There may be concerns on how this move hurts his draft stock, but any NHL team that has the chance to draft this kid shouldn’t worry that he will spend a few extra years in Russia.

The 16-year-old forward is closing in on Nikita Kucherov’s U17 points record in Russia’s MHL. During the 2009-10 season, Kucherov recorded 29 goals and 25 assists for 54 points in 53 games played. Michkov now has 35 goals and 18 assists for 53 points in 52 games played. His 35 goals have already broken the all-time U17 record, and he is one point away from breaking Kucherov’s points record.

Michkov is Russia’s top prospect since the likes of Malkin and Ovechkin, and there will be plenty of eyes on him for the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. He currently leads SKA-1946 St. Petersburg in scoring with 32 goals and 17 assists for 49 points in 46 games played. He started the year with SKA-Varyagi im. Morozova and amassed three goals and one assist for four points in six games played. He’s two years out from his draft season, but you’d have to think at some point he’ll make his way to Russia’s top division and the new contract shouldn’t deter teams from drafting such a phenomenal talent.

Lundkvist Leading SHL Defenseman in Goals

New York Rangers prospect Nils Lundkvist putting together another impressive season in the Swedish Hockey League. The defenseman has 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points in 44 games played. He currently leads all SHL defensemen in goal scoring (11), power-plays goals (6), and he sits second in total shots on goal with 130. His 26 points rank ninth among SHL defensemen.

Drafted 28th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season in the SHL with Luleå HF, amassing 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 45 games played. His 11 goals were sixth best among SHL defensemen during that season and he ranked seventh in total points. It’s two very impressive seasons for the Swedish defenseman considering he’s still only 20 years old. The Rangers have a number of top prospects and Lundkvist is one of their best.

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