Philadelphia Flyers: Ivan Provorov enjoyed a bounce back season

Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

After he struggled during his third NHL season, Ivan Provorov bounced back in a big way for the Flyers.

Ivan Provorov jumped into the NHL in 2016-17 by playing in all 82 games that season. He hasn’t looked back, not missing a single game during his first four seasons.

He has been just about everything the Flyers could’ve asked him to be. There was concern that Provorov had regressed last season. He struggled mightily. He finished with his lowest point total and didn’t seem like the same player he was before. Mistakes were creeping into his game that hadn’t been there before.

The Flyers weren’t nervous though, inking him to a long term deal right before this year’s training camp began. And he proved almost right away that he was putting last year behind him.

Provorov may have actually had a better season this year than he had during his first two years. And a lot of that had to do with the steady hand of Matt Niskanen. Pairing the two together gave Provorov the veteran partner that he greatly needed.

He was a workhorse per usual, averaging just under 25 minutes per game, over 17 of those at even strength. Provorov rewarded the Flyers with as close to a career season as he could get. If the team were to play out the remainder of the season, it’s possible he would reach a new high in points.

In 69 games played, Provorov had 13 goals and 23 assists. That was a 10-point jump from what he put up last season. His prowess on the power play returned, posting  12 points as he quarterbacked the first unit. That was as many points as he had on the unit in his first three years combined.

The advanced numbers are strong as well. He was in the top ten with a 51.79 CF%. It was the first season he finished above 49% in that stat. Goal scoring is not a top priority of his, but it was a good sign to see him back over 50% in both goals for (51.92%) and expected goals percentage (52.43%).

Peeking at the numbers from last year, he was towards the bottom of the team with a 47.58 CF%. The team was disappointing as a whole last year, though. But it’s clear that they tend to struggle when Provorov isn’t on his game.

It looks like we can assuredly put last season behind him as a rare down year. It was likely to happen as he grows into a top defenseman in this league. But with his reemergence this season, it was no doubt just a fluke of a season.

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We were likely to see a fully healthy Provorov going into the playoffs, instead of one who basically had no feeling in his arm. That may have to wait, depending on what the league decides. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long to see what a healthy Provorov looks like in the playoffs.