After struggling in the 2014-15 season, the Philadelphia Flyers earned the seventh overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Overall, Philadelphia had nine picks, including two in the first round.
The Flyers entered the draft with plenty of prospects on the blue line, but needed help up front. Philadelphia was short on wingers and especially goaltenders—with just two netminders in the system.
Philadelphia addressed its depth chart issues at the draft, and picked up arguably the top defenseman in Ivan Provorov. With their second choice in the first round, the Flyers addressed an area of need with forward Travis Konecny.
The Flyers added four more players up front: Mikhail Vorobyov, Samuel Dove-McFalls, David Kase and Cooper Marody. To fill out the goaltending depth, the Flyers picked three goalies: Felix Sandstrom, Matej Tomek and Ivan Fedotov.
Ivan Provorov, D, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
1st round, 7th overall
Height: 6-0 Weight: 201 Ibs
With the seventh overall pick, the Flyers drafted Ivan Provorov, one of the best—if not the best—defensemen available in the draft. He is projected to be a top-pairing rearguard, joining the already talented young blue line group Philadelphia has been putting together.
While the Flyers do not need more defensemen, Provorov is viewed as a complete player who could be NHL ready soon. Some scouts even listed him higher than Noah Hanifin.
“We really liked the way he plays,” Ron Hextall said. “He plays a 200-foot game, he plays a hard game, he’s not worried about putting offensive numbers up, they just come because he’s got elite hockey sense.”
Along with a high hockey IQ, the two-way defenseman can score, skates well, and plays a physical game. He signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers after the draft.
“[I] just see what’s open, how much time do I have, and stuff like that, just see if I can skate myself or make a pass, find a lane to shoot, or to make a move on the player or the goalie,” Provorov said.
Provorov played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights as a 14-year-old, his first season playing North American hockey. Over the 2011-12 season, he recorded 61 points in 27 games. He moved to the Knights’ U16 team the next season, where he scored 97 points. Provorov moved to the USHL before joining the Brandon Wheat Kings last season. He also won a silver medal with Russia at the World Junior Championships.
“I think I need to work on all aspects of my game,” Provorov said. “I think I don’t have a weak point, but I think you always need to improve on everything. There is no limit, so you can get better and better no matter how old you are.
Provorov met with the media after his selection by the Flyers, with some of that conversation being captured in this Hockey’s Future video.
Travis Konecny, C, Ottawa 67s (OHL)
1st round, 24th overall
Height: 5-9 Weight 175 Ibs
With their second pick of the first round, the Flyers addressed an area of need—forwards. They chose Konecny, a versatile, all-around forward who can bolster the team’s depth chart. Konecny becomes one of Philadelphia’s top forward prospects, and has high potential.
He can bring leadership, offense, and good skating ability. The 24th overall pick can play either center or the wing, and could become a top-six forward later on.
“We didn’t think Konecny was going to fall where he did,” Hextall said. “Konecny’s not really a sleeper; I think everybody knew who he was.”
Konecny captained the Ottawa 67’s last season, netting 68 points (29 goals, 39 assists) in that campaign. He also captained Canada at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, where Canada won gold. Konecny added a bronze medal at the U18 World Junior Championships this season.
After a 70-point performance as a newcomer in the OHL, he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year. Konecny was also voted the best skater by the Eastern Conference coaches prior to the 2014-15 season, and he was voted the second-best stick handler.
Prior to the 2015 NHL Draft, Konecny took part in the 2015 NHL Scouting Combine. He spoke with the media following his testing session, with some of his comments being captured in this HF video.