In the fall, I asked an NHL scout about the CHL’s western league and was informed it was a ‘down year’ and there might not be a Top 10 overall selection in the WHL. Six months later? Ivan Provorov has changed the landscape.
First, the speed and skill. Ivan Provorov is a tremendous talent with the puck as reflected in the 44 seconds to daylight above. Great skater, outstanding vision and an ability to make people miss: A dynamite combination. Early on, he began to move up the charts:
— Bruce Luebke (@wheatkingsvoice) September 10, 2014
Provorov began gaining steam out of the box and his offense by month reflects his quick start and overall dominance:
- September: 4GP, 1-3-4
- October: 13GP, 7-8-15
- November: 11GP, 0-11-11
- December: 7GP, 2-5-7
- January: 10GP, 1-11-12
- February: 6GP, 3-3-6
- March: 1GP, 0-0-0
In talking to Ivan Provorov “Its been my dream to play in the NHL since I was five years old”. Has been in NA for last four years.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) January 23, 2015
Cody Nickolet, WHL From Above: Provorov does a bit of everything on the
ice and does it all well. While not being an extremely explosive player, he
doesn’t have many weaknesses. He’s smart, he skates well, he moves the puck
hard and accurately and he can play in any situation you put him in. He also
has shown an increased edge in his game the last few times I’ve seen him,
although I don’t project him to ever be a big bruiser on the blueline. Think of
a guy like Mark Giordano. I think the two play a similar style and offer up
many of the same attributes. Source
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) February 12, 2015
WHERE WILL HE GO?
I think Noah Hanifin will be the first defenseman off the board but it’s interesting to note that Craig Button—whose list is fascinating if not the industry standard—ranks Provorov as the top defender in the draft. Bob McKenzie’s mid-season list—the Bible of the draft—ranked Provorov as the No. 12 prospect in 2015.
Previously in the series: