Ivan Provorov THW Close-Up
The Brandon Wheat Kings are a unique animal when it comes to defensive groupings. Many hockey clubs balance their old and young players throughout their pairings, often putting new junior players together with veterans who can mentor them. And young players are almost always buried in the bottom pairings.
Of course, that’s not what happened with the Wheat Kings.
Ivan Provorov and Ryan Pilon, a fellow 2015 draft eligible defender, have spent the majority of the season on the top pairing for their team. When you factor in that the pairing is facing the top players on other WHL clubs and thriving against them, their efforts are pretty impressive. Of this dynamic duo, Pilon is more of a defensively-oriented defender, while Provorov is much more adept at jumping into the rush and creating chaos in the offensive zone for the other team.
There’s a lot to like about Provorov. He’s a big-bodied Russian with strong skating. He’s creative in the offensive zone and responsible in his own end, though he may jump into the rush too often. It’s helpful for him that Pilon’s as good as he is inside his own blueline. The thing that may also excite scouts about Provorov is his enthusiasm for playing in North America. He’s played in North America for years, and the commitment it takes to come over to a new country as a young teenager speaks to his passion for the game and his desire to succeed.
Provorov is a creative, resourceful player. He’s strong in all three zones and has excelled as a key player on a top team as a major-junior rookie. He’ll be a strong asset to any organization that selects him in June.
“While the debate will rage, I see Ivan as the best and most complete defenceman in the draft. His command of all the situations in the game allows him to contribute and make an impact regardless of what’s confronting him. 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.”
–Craig Button, TSN director of scouting
Provorov represented Russia at the Under-18 World Championships and World Junior Championships, winning a silver medal in the World Juniors.
Risk 1/5, Reward 4/5
Top pairing defenseman and power-play quarterback.
- Good shot, effective passer.
- Good skater.
- Strong hockey IQ.
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
- Could add a bit of muscle and physicality to his game to compete at next level.
- Needs to display stronger judgment in terms of when to jump into the rush to avoid odd-man situations against.
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive 8/10, Defensive 8/10
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
It’s hard to find a specific comparison. If things go well, he could be a Russian Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
When He’ll Go In June:
Provorov will likely be selected in the first half of the first round. There’s a strong chance he’ll be the first defenseman chosen.