Rick Tocchet: The Flyers’ Ivan Provorov has the potential to be a top defenseman in this league

Rick Tocchet: The Flyers’ Ivan Provorov has the potential to be a top defenseman in this league


Rick Tochet was high on Ivan Provorov in 2019-20.

Now it is very high on him.

In the year As the Coyotes’ head coach in December 2019, Tochette matured Provorov, who was only 22 years old at the time and was already pretty established.

“I think he’s one of the best young defensemen in the league.” Toch said.

Over the next two seasons, Provorov hit some bumps in the road as the Flyers hit some majors. Over the past two years, the 25-year-old has had a rotating partner on the Raiders’ top defensive pairing. Provorov, a machine-like, do-it-all mentality, had to overcompensate for the resulting instability. Undeniably, the play suffered.

Provorov posted a career-low 20-point mark on a team that finished with an 87-87 goal differential last season. Over the past two seasons, Provorov has combined for one power play goal. In the year He led all NHL defensemen in power play goals with seven in 2019-20.

Tocchett, in his first season doing studio commentary for the NHL on TNT, believes Provorov is still a top-pairing man capable of anchoring the Flyers’ back end.

“Absolutely,” Toch said in this week’s edition. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Flyers Talk Podcast. “His arc has gone down in the last year and a half or two for whatever reason; I don’t know what’s going on in the dressing room. But he’s got the skills, he’s got the hockey IQ, he’s proven it.

“Like I said two years ago, I loved that guy. I wouldn’t trade that guy for anybody. I think this guy’s going to get a summer to freshen up, get a new coaching staff, a new defensive coach. I think going into this year he’s going to relax and not put a lot of pressure on him.”

Provorov will have the opportunity to work with new assistant coaches Brad Shaw (Penalty Taker/Defender) And Rocky Thompson (Power Play/Offensive).

“I’ve watched him walk the blue line at the plate for power and he seems to have a shot mentality from two years ago,” Toch said. “It looks like he’s going to go through; that’s from my bird’s eye view, from being on your guys’ side, on the media side. So I’d like to see him dominate the power play more, be the main guy.”

“But all around, his snaps and things like that, what I’ve seen, he has the ability to be a top defender in this league.”

With regular veteran Matt Niskanen in 2019-20, Provorov was a consistent and happy customer.

last season, It still took a lot for the Flyers, but the frustration was evident.. The Flyers went 25-46-11 and Provorov is a contender.

More: Tortorella talks about the importance of flyer health, knowing that if Ellis is healthy, he’s ‘big’

“Evan is definitely not a polarizing figure on our team,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a late May press conference. We really respect and appreciate what he does, he plays about 25 minutes a night, he goes back to every puck, he’s fearless, he blocks every shot, he competes in front of the net, he has a big shot, he moves. The punch.

“Sometimes he can hold it a little bit. I think when we get the right partner, like he was in 19-20, I thought he was more effective in that. He gets everything. High match, he gets every defensive zone in front, first pk.

“We ask a lot from Ivan Provorov and I think he will give us a lot. As the talent around him improves, like every player, he will get better, but he is already a very good player.”

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