Friday, September 13, 2019

Ivan Provorov Jersey Card

(As per years past, this is a twin-post with my "regular" blog, where I predicted the Philadelphia Flyers would finish fourth in the Metropolitan Division in 2019-20).

Ivan Provorov, who just signed a six-year deal worth on average $6.7M per, has the potential to become a true #1 defenseman, which would make him a bargain at that rate should he reach it.

The 22-year-old former first-round pick (7th overall in 2015) already has a 41-point season under his belt; he is a fast and agile skater with an accurate shot, great passing skills and the ability to treat five-on-five play like a powerplay with his on-ice vision and control. Sometimes, it's almost comical, seeing him skate up with the puck with the swagger and grace of an Indianapolis Colts-era Peyton Manning facing a group of undecided teenagers.

It's just that he doesn't always put the elements together, he hasn't yet developed into the guy whose defensive play will complement his skill-set. Some guys have it (Nicklas Lidstrom), others develop it (Mark Giordano), some work on their strengths in a way that their weaknesses don't necessarily show (Kris Letang). Some just coast on what they have and cash their paychecks (Vladimir Malakhov).

We'll see where Provorov falls during the course of this contract, but one thing's for sure: the Flyers signed a cornerstone of their defense and expect it will continue to be one of their main strengths. Former GM Ron Hextall built his defense so that Provorov, Robert Hagg, Samuel Morin, Travis Sanheim and Shayne Gostisbehere would be the main pieces - and they're all still there - but current GM Chuck Fletcher added veterans Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun to the equation to bring in more experience.

In the meantime, here he is wearing the Flyers' white 50th Anniversary uniform (as attested by the patch on the left shoulder and the gold numbers), on card #GJ-IP from Upper Deck's 2017-18 Series 1 set and UD Game Jersey sub-set:
It features a bright orange (a lot flashier than the scan) game-worn jersey swatch that could very well be from that same jersey.

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