The Future Begins Now for Hextall, Flyers

The main storyline throughout Philadelphia Flyers training camp is whether or not 2015 first round picks Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny would make the opening night roster. Well, after a long and impressive preseason/training camp, Ron Hextall has confirmed that both of his blue-chip prospects will be with the team when they open their season Friday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

What to Expect

Both Provorov and Konecny are proving to Hextall and company that they are NHL ready.  This is great news for the fans and the organization. Dave Hakstol’s and Hextall’s next big challenge will be how to infuse these top prospects onto the NHL roster. The Flyers have a lot of talent coming through the system right now and these two, with the skill sets they possess, are a huge boost to the current team and for the future as well.

Shayne Ghostisbehere Travis Konecny Philadelphia Flyers
Konecny and Gostisbehere are the faces of a new era of talent in Philadelphia. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

For now, it looks like Konecny will be skating on the left wing on the team’s second line with Sean Couturier at center and Jake Voracek on the other wing. This will technically be the team’s second line, however, the talent level on this line is arguably just as good if not better than the designated first line of Brayden Schenn, Claude Giroux, and Wayne Simmonds.

Having a top six with this much skill and firepower gives the offense a chance to be quite dangerous this season. Also, it looks as though Konecny has a spot on the Flyers’ second power-play unit, which has struggled over the last few seasons.

Ivan the Great

Philadelphia Flyers
Provorov will provide the Flyers with new type of skill-set on the defense. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As for where Provorov will slot in the lineup, he’ll be playing in a top-four role on defense, especially now that Michael Del Zotto will be lost for the first month or so of the season. From the situations in which he’s played in the preseason, expect Provorov to be used a lot on both special teams units and at five-on-five.

He ended the preseason playing on a pair with veteran Mark Streit and the two complimented one another very well. So, by all accounts, we’ll see them together when the real thing starts this Friday in Los Angeles.

All in all, both players make the Flyers current roster much better. Both of their skill-sets are exactly what the team needs. Hextall said at his end of the season press conference last spring that the team was in need of more playmaking, and they get just that with Konecny and Provorov.