SUNRISE, Fla. — Leading up to the NHL draft, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall didn't quite know what to think about what might happen after the first two picks.

He and his staff liked Russian defenseman Ivan Provorov, but weren't sure if he'd still be on the board when the Flyers picked at No. 7.

There was a brief moment of panic when the New Jersey Devils were on the clock with the sixth pick and Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen seemed interested in trading for it, likely with the intent of taking Provorov.

The picks, which Hextall called "very unpredictable" last week, fell the Flyers' way. New Jersey kept the pick and took center Pavel Zacha. The Flyers took Provorov without having to trade up to get him.

"Provorov is a smart, two-way defenseman," Hextall said last week. "Really good with the puck, good defender. Good player all over the ice."

The 18-year-old defenseman has been playing in North America for the last four years. A native of Yaroslavl, Russia, Provorov came to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. to play when he was 14 years old.