He’s a dominating force in the WHL and his 73 points from the blue line have helped the Brandon Wheat Kings into the WHL Championship. On Friday Provorov and the Wheat Kings will face the Seattle Thunderbirds.
The Wheat Kings have only faced Seattle once in the WHL’s regular season and lost 7-2. That loss doesn’t mean a lot going into the playoffs, though. “It was early in the year, and the guys were still starting to get used to one another. If we play like we can, we’ll be fine. We’re fast, big, and skilled. We’ve got it all.” Provorov said in a phone interview with Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi.
Today, the Flyers 2015 first-round pick was awarded the Bill Hunter Trophy given to the WHL’s best defenseman.
— Brandon Wheat Kings (@bdnwheatkings) May 4, 2016
Provorov already has his eyes on the future, and where he’ll be playing next season. He’s confident that he’ll be able to earn a spot on the Flyers roster sooner rather than later. “If you work hard and are willing to sacrifice and do everything you can to make the team and get better every day, I think you can make the transition at any age,” Provorov said. He’ll have to exceed what fans expect him to be to break into the NHL by the 2016-17 season.
Because of his age, there is no middle ground for Provorov to land. He isn’t eligible to join the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL, he’ll either make the NHL or go back to Brandon. “They have to come in and be better than someone else that’s here, and if that happens, we proved last year that we’ll make room in our roster for a young player that proves to us that he’s ready to play at this level and make our team better.” Hextall said of the young players.
This past season we saw Hextall miraculously move Vinny Lecavalier to the L.A. Kings in an effort to keep Shayne Gostisbehere in the lineup. Luke Schenn was also dealt in the trade, which made the defense a bit less crowded. If Provorov proves his worth, Hextall will have to make even more space on the blue line. Players like Streit, Manning or Schultz might be trade candidates, but could be more difficult to move than we think.
Either way, Provorov is an exciting player to watch in whichever league he’s playing in. We hope he can break onto the Flyers next season, but it won’t hurt too much if he gets some more development time.