On the Ice with Isaac: Spotlight on a Pair of Young Flyers
NEWARK — Ivan Provorov got to wear his souvenir home.
It’s a brush burn on the right side of his chin, compliments of one of the New Jersey Devils’ sticks.
“It’s nothing,” he said. “It’s hockey.”
When he got it could be a little fuzzy, because in the Flyers’ preseason opener Provorov played nearly half of the game. In a 2-0 loss to the Devils, the 2015 first-round pick logged a game-high 28 minutes, 48 seconds.
“There was no number in mind,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “You don’t want somebody playing 27, 28 minutes on night No. 1. He was doing a good job. There was specialty teams situations and with those, the minutes add up.”
And they’re OK with that, because now is about when the real evaluation starts. Drills in practice tell little. It’s the games that count and the Flyers’ top two prospects — Provorov and right wing Travis Konecny — were given ample opportunity to show what they’ve got.
“You get more information starting (Monday) with the games,” Hakstol said. “It’s a split squad and we have a lot of young players that are in the lineups. Every bit of information is real, but game information is really valuable when you’re trying to evaluate where people are at.”
And although Hakstol warned not to “connect the dots,” it’s likely no coincidence that while there was another split-squad game happening in Brooklyn against the Islanders this was the game that Hakstol, general manager Ron Hextall and team president Paul Holmgren chose to attend.
“I want to see a lot of players, but it’s only realistic,” Hakstol said. “Not all 60 players have an opportunity to make our team this year, but information on all of them is important and we do have a lot of competition.”