Provorov, Konecny should make this team
Ron Hextall has never been a fan of bringing kids up the NHL.
Defenseman Ivan Provorov and forward Travis Konecny are a special circumstance.
These kids are ready.
You can make the case that they were ready last year, but Hextall thought otherwise and sent them back to their junior teams.
Provorov, 19, dominated the Western Hockey League last year winning defenseman of the year.
Konecny, 19, had a stellar season in the Ontario Hockey League.
Last year, when Mark Streit suffered an injury, Shayne Gostisbehere got called up. Hextall did not believe he was ready and hesitated to bring up “The Ghost.”
Gostisbehere ended up having one of the best rookie seasons in Flyers history, finishing in second place in the Calder Trophy, a trophy awarded to the NHL’s top rookie. He was a main reason the Flyers made the playoffs.
In a short amount of time, Provorov will be the best defenseman on the Flyers. He has been solid in training camp playing heavy minutes. He has gifts that not many 19 year-olds have. Provorov has been at the point on the second power-play unit.
Konecny has been playing on the top two lines this preseason. He leads the Flyers in scoring and has made spectacular plays leading to great scoring chances.
The Flyers have lacked impactful wingers and are in desperate need of secondary scoring. Konecny has the potential to be a 20 goal-scorer his rookie season.
This is an easy decision for general manager Ron Hextall. Provorov and Konecny should be in the starting lineup next Friday when the Flyers play the Los Angeles Kings opening night in LA.