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Get to Know Ivan Provorov
Date of Birth: January 13, 1997 (18)
Place of Birth: Yaroslavl, Russia
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 201 lbs
Team: Brandon Wheat Kings
Ivan Provorov has been unwavering in his climb to the top of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The dynamic young blue-liner left Russia to pursue a future in North American hockey at age 14 and so far, he’s enjoying the fruits of his labors. Provorov played an enormous role on the Brandon Wheat Kings, who finished 1st in the WHL and made it to the finals of the Ed Chynoweth Cup, the WHL’s Championship.
With 61 points in 60 games, Provorov finished 4th in the WHL in scoring for defensemen, and was the only WHL rookie to crack the top 20. More than just his impressive point totals, Provorov’s smart defensive game convinced scouts that he is one of the most complete players in the draft, and is thus deserving of a top ten selection.
What Scouts See
Cody Nickolet, WHL Scout for Future Considerations Hockey:
Ivan Provorov might be the smartest defender in the 2015 NHL Draft class. He’s extremely well-rounded with his skating, playmaking, shot, 200-foot hockey sense, defensive play and physical play all being well above average for a player of his age. He’s a player with very few weaknesses and I feel that he projects as a top pairing guy in the NHL. Expect to see him come off the board within the top 8 selections in 2015.
Ivan can make the game look effortless with a brilliant understanding of what’s unfolding in front of him either from a defensive or offensive standpoint. His skating, quickness and balance, pinpoint passing, poise under pressure and a great competitive determination align to make him a defenceman who can influence the play and the outcomes in a consistent and positive manner.
What BSN Avalanche sees
Ivan Provorov boasts one of the most complete tool kits in the draft and has no glaring weaknesses in his game. His skating, passing, and shooting are all high level tools but what makes his arsenal so deadly, is his on ice intelligence and decision making.
In transition Provorov sees the ice well and makes creative tape to tape passes to advance the puck even when pressured heavily by forecheckers. It’s very rare for Provorov to turn the puck over on the breakout or opt to “punt” the puck by chipping it out of the zone without purpose. In the offensive zone Provorov moves his feet well to make himself constantly available as an outlet, and when he has the puck he moves it around the ice quickly.
Defensively Provorov’s best assets are his intelligence and calm demeanor. Positionally Provorov is extremely reliable, and in transition he is excellent at managing gap control. Provorov is most impressive in the 6 feet on either side of his own blueline. He’s excellent at closing gaps quickly to disrupt zone entries by stripping the puck or forcing his opponents offsides. At 6’0” Provorov is not physically imposing, but his skating and timing allow him to land heavy body checks in transition.
Ivan Provorov is a man of few weaknesses. He does an excellent job disrupting plays with his stick, but is sometimes too reliant on it, especially close to his own net. Additionally, Provorov’s ability to read and anticipate the play in front of him is exceptional, but he sometimes takes unnecessary risks in an attempt to make big plays. NHL coaching should help with both of these minor issues. Provorov is an intelligent student of the game, and should learn and grow quickly at the next level.
With Ivan Provorov’s impressive toolkit and great game sense, he projects as a top pairing two-way defenseman in the NHL. Provorov kills penalties, quarterbacks the power play, and matches up against top competition at even strength. He should continue to play big minutes in all situations in the NHL within the next two years.
Expected Draft Position
The vast majority of NHL pundits agree that Ivan Provorov will be selected in the first eight picks of this year’s NHL Entry Draft. Only ESPN’s Corey Pronman has Provorov falling outside of the top 10, ranking him 14th overall.
How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization
The vast majority of the Avalanche’s top prospects are left handed defensemen like Provorov, and although Chris Bigras, Duncan Siemens, and Mason Geertsen are all promising young players, should the Avalanche draft Provorov he would instantly jump to the head of the pack. Whether he makes the NHL immediately or not, Provorov would give the Avalanche an even better chance at filling their single greatest NHL need, a young, top tier left side defenseman to pair with Erik Johnson.
Personally, I would be shocked to see Ivan Provorov available when the Avalanche select 10th overall, but if he is, I think they would be crazy not to pick the Russian defenseman with sky-high potential.