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Ivan Provorov’s smarts highlight even more to look forward to

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He’s 19. He’s an NHLer. It’s only going to get better from here.

Philadelphia Flyers v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

One of the best parts of this season so far is, without a doubt, seeing Ivan Provorov make the NHL. Averaging 19:58 a game, he isn’t being thrown totally into the deep end; at the same time, he’s fifth in average ice time for both the Flyers and all rookies throughout the league.

But something especially delightful about him? Just how smart he is. Via Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts (#21):

He’s very good at discussing the intricacies of the game. He was explaining what it was like to face Sidney Crosby. “He was coming in on me, and I wasn’t on my regular side. I was thinking, ‘Don’t go for the first move, don’t go for the first move.’ He brought the puck across his body and I waited, then was able to poke it away from him.” He was very proud of that play, but knows there are many rematches to come.

Sidney Crosby is, unfortunately, a pretty good hockey player. For a rookie to go out against someone like him and already know exactly what to do speaks to Provorov’s smarts and composure - and we’re just getting started with him.

Also good? Travis Konecny, and how he’s already tied for fourth in team scoring, and seventh in scoring out of all rookies.

Really, really cute? The first part of Friedman’s 21st thought, about the two of them:

Didn’t realize that Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov are road roommates. Who gets the remote? “Ah, it’s really not an issue,” Provorov laughed last week. “But I do get the bed closest to the door.”

Aw. Rookies are the best.