TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
The Philadelphia Flyers added to their already stellar group of defensive prospects on Friday night, landing star Russian defenseman Ivan Provorov with the 7th overall pick. Provorov had a stellar 2014-15 season for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, compiling 61 points in 60 regular season games.
Provorov brings some tremendous skills to the table. He is an offensively gifted defenseman who can carry the puck extremely well. Many scouts have speculated that he could potentially be NHL ready as early as next season.
Below are Provorov’s career statistics (per eliteprospects.com)
If there is criticism of this pick, it is likely based on the idea that the Flyers are in need of more forward depth within the organizational prospect pool. That still rings true, but it is not possible to have too many good young defensive prospects, especially when none of those defenseman have proven themselves at the NHL level. Provorov was probably the best player on the board at number 7, and it was most definitely the correct move to select him.
Many top analysts had Provorov ranked extremely high. After the pick was announced, TSN’s Craig Button stated “The Flyers just got the best defenseman in this year’s draft”. There are never any certainties with prospects, but Provorov looks like a guy who has legitimate number one defenseman potential. There is definitely a lot to be excited about here, and we will have much more to come as draft weekend goes on.