Photo credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)
Ivan Provorov is the Flyers top prospect right now. His draft status suggests he’s expected to become a top defender. It’s even possible, though highly unlikely, he might crack the roster this season. Assuming he does crack the roster this season, what can be reasonably expected of him?
Provorov was able to score 74 points, a rate of 0.9367 points per game, in 79 combined regular season and playoff games in the WHL.
Per Rob Vollman’s model, Provorov would score 0.2345 points per game in the NHL or 20 points in 82 games.
While 20 points doesn’t seem like much, it would be good for third on the 2014-15 Flyers for points among defenders behind only Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto.
As a rookie, he’d clock in as a comparable close to Drew Doughty. Doughty’s OHL-NHL scale would have been good for 21 expected points.
Doughty obviously outpaced his projected scoring output. It would be unfair to assume that Provorov would outpace the scoring expectation, but it’s just a measuring stick of what an average would be. Also of note, if Provorov didn’t get 20 points, his season would not be a failure.
Another thing to note, given that possession skills and rates can be more descriptive than raw totals, it’s possible to look at Doughty’s first 3 years in the league to see what type of impact he had.
Via Own the Puck
Doughty’s age 19-21 seasons were quite solid. He impacted possession, especially on the defensive side, at top pair elite levels. So, being young and a top pair defender is not some unheard of fantasy.
Aaron Ekblad also logged big minutes for the Panthers this year, so there’s another more recent example of 18 year olds stepping into big skates right away.
Provorov will likely be an elite defender, it’s very possible he’s ready right now. Of course, if Provorov is sent back to Junior, either after camp or after a 9 game cameo, the topic of his projection will be visited again next spring or summer to see how his development is progressing.