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NHL draft: Experts give high grades for Flyers first round

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The dust has barely settled after an exciting first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Let's take a look at how Hextall and company were graded in some initial first round report cards.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It's 9 a.m. on day 2 of the 2015 NHL Draft, and the dust has barely settled after what has turned out to be an interesting first round in Sunrise, Florida.

There was Connor McDavid. There were trades. There was whatever the heck Boston was doing. And then there was a team from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania selecting two elite-level players, both with arguably top-15 talent.

We've got coverage here. And here.

It was quite an evening if you consider yourself a Flyers fan, and while we here at BSH haven't yet given out any draft grades ourselves, here's a look at what everybody else has to say about the Flyers' evening:

CBS Sports, Chris Peters

Ivan Provorov: A-, Travis Konecny: B+

On Provorov:

The Flyers added to their growing stable of young defenseman. He probably jumps ahead of all the others on the prospect depth chart, though. Provorov put up better than a point-per-game in 60 GP with Brandon in the WHL. The Russian has been in North America the last two years, so any fear of flight to the KHL should be extremely low. Here's what NHL Central Scouting's John Williams said about him: "He's very composed with the puck, has excellent vision and knows where everybody is on the ice. He has good hockey IQ and takes advantage when he sees an opening both offensively and defensively."

On Konecny:

In terms of value, the Flyers couldn't have done much better here. Konecny was worth trading up to get. He was a projected top-10 pick coming into the season, but had a few injury issues earlier this year that may have hurt his play and in turn hurt his stock. Konecny still had 68 points in 60 games and is lauded for his speed and puck handling. Here's what Central Scouting's Chris Edwards has to say about him: "He's a highly skilled forward who never quits. "He skates very well, has excellent speed, is not afraid to get involved in battles and has no fear of taking the puck to the net."

Bleacher Report, Jonathan Willis

Ivan Provorov: A, Travis Konecny: A

On Provorov:

Provorov is another reasonably big, mobile defenceman who can do a little bit of everything. He scored better than a point per game in the WHL last season, and his best attribute is extraordinary hockey sense. He should play in all situations in the NHL and is projectable as a top-pairing defenceman.

On Konecny:

Konecny is small. At just 5'10" and 175 pounds, it's reasonable to worry how he'll handle the physicality of the professional level. However, he's well-regarded both as a clever offensive talent and for a relentless motor. He makes good decisions at both ends of the rink, doesn't give less than his best and has significant offensive potential, especially this late in the draft., TSN Staff

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny: No grades yet

On Provorov:

"Ivan understands the game extremely well and is able to use his considerable talents to contribute in any area and every situation. Calm, poised and competitive he is in command when he’s on the ice. The best defenceman in this draft and I see him as a number one who will anchor a blue line." - TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button

On Konecny:

"Travis is a very determined competitor who refuses to be denied. He will push through resistance and battle for every bit of space. Has a good shot and can score from 35 feet but will pay the price around net.  An improvement in speed and quickness will allow him to get more room and opportunity." - TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button, Staff

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny: No grades yet

On Provorov:

The 6-foot, 201-pound left-hander logs a lot of minutes, is good on specialty teams, and likes to play the body. He manned the blue line for silver medalist Russia at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and as a rookie ranked fourth in points among Western Hockey League defensemen. He is regarded as one of the best passers in the Canadian Hockey League.

On Konecny:

The right-hander, who can also play right wing, jumped 12 spots from the midterm rankings to No. 14 on Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters. Konecny (5-foot-10, 175 pounds), the 2014 Ontario Hockey League Rookie of the Year, had 29 goals and 68 points in 60 regular-season games in 2014-15. "He's a skilled forward who plays bigger than his size and is not afraid to get involved in traffic and puck battles," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr said.

ESPN, Corey Pronman

Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny: No grades yet

On Provorov:

Provorov is a very skilled and advanced defenseman who has shown a strong commitment to North America, having played on this side of the Atlantic for the past four seasons. He's a very gifted skater with good agility and power out of his stride, although he has an awkward lean-over skating style. He's above average as an offensive player, with good puck skills and great ability to find lanes and move the puck.

He's slightly undersized for a defenseman, but he's decent to solid in his own end, with good angles, positioning and stick work. There are times when his defensive zone play shows a read error, but overall, he makes enough stops to be reliable at even strength.

Team fit: In a system stacked with defense prospects, Provorov is among if not the very best one in that pipeline. Unlike an offensive minded Travis Sanheim or a big, crushing Samuel Morin, Provorov, while offensively tilted, is a very solid all-around defenseman. He should need another one to two years in Junior.

On Konecny:

Konecny is an explosive skater who jets through the neutral zone with the best in the CHL. Konecny is small and doesn't win a ton of battles, but he is tough, and he plays a fearless style of hockey in which he drives the net and gets involved physically. He's a very skilled puck handler, who can make defenders miss. He's also a very smart offensive player who is more than just a pure dangler. He also has fine defensive value and could project onto a pro-level penalty kill if he handles the physical grind.

Team fit: I love Konecny and this is a fantastic addition this late in the draft (I have him rated top-10, and hilarious over their seventh overall pick Provorov). His production wasn't ideal this season for a top pick, but scouting him, you see different things. His tools are so dynamic and he makes so much happen due to his abilities. Provorov and Konecny are a great haul and put the Flyers system in the best shape it has been in years.

That last line from Pronman is very, very satisfying to read.


As more grades and report cards are released, we'll be sure to update this thread. From what we've been gathering over the past couple of hours, there's no doubt about it: Ron Hextall and company had themselves a banner first evening.