Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny make the Flyers' opening night roster
The Philadelphia Flyers have assembled an enviable set of prospects, but two in particular grabbed the headlines in the days leading up to training camp. Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny both excelled in their respective junior hockey leagues during the 2015-16 season, and it seemed at least possible that they could earn NHL jobs through strong performances at camp and in preseason games.
Today, Ron Hextall confirmed it. Provorov and Konecny will begin their Flyers careers this week.
Konecny and Provorov have made the Flyers, according to Hextall— Kyle (@Kyle_Phillippi) October 10, 2016
As discussed this summer, it is our belief at Broad Street Hockey that Hextall uses four main criteria to judge whether a prospect is ready for the NHL: physical readiness, strong performances in lower leagues, carry-over of that level of play to an NHL camp environment, and the ability to outplay established veterans on the roster. Provorov and Konecny apparently checked all four boxes over the past three weeks.
Hextall's past patience with prospects like Shayne Gostisbehere had many fans wondering when the team's youth movement would officially commence. Today, that question was answered with authority. With Michael Del Zotto out for at least a month and Radko Gudas facing suspension, Provorov will almost certainly play a significant amount of minutes to start his NHL career. Konecny, on the other hand, appears primed to play alongside Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek on the second line, a promising environment for the young scorer.
Don't expect either player to merely stick around for a nine-game trial, either. Hextall has repeatedly noted that he doesn't believe in auditions -- now that Provorov and Konecny are here, expect them here for the long haul.