Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov looked like a possible Norris Trophy winner of the future over the last couple of seasons, however he's taken a couple of steps back this season.
Not only has his play hurt the Flyers on the ice at times this year, he's also hurting himself as the 22 year old will be a restricted free agent this offseason.
NHL insider Bob McKenzie talked about Provorov on his latest BobCast starting with how he has improved a bit since the All-Star break but is still baffled by the regression. The NHL insider isn't giving up on him just yet.
“As for why his game went south this year, you never really know for sure. And hey, maybe I’m out to lunch. Maybe he’s not as good as we thought he’s going to be. But I don’t believe that, and I’ve talked to enough hockey people who share my view of it that he’s still a stud defenseman waiting to happen."
McKenzie feels that between Provorov being a guy who's really hard on himself and the Flyers struggles, it's just been a bad mix this year.
“And he’s a guy - from people who tell me they know him really well, they say he’s really, really hard on himself. That his expectations of what he’s going to do - nobody has got higher expectations for Ivan Provorov than Provorov himself. And that the pressure he would apply to himself could become an onerous thing, especially after getting off to such a poor start.
“But I can’t believe - based on the player I saw play for the Brandon Wheat Kings in junior, based on what we saw of him in his first two years of his entry-level deal - that he’s not going to find a way to get back to what we thought he’s going to be."