The Flyers may have a pair of rookies in their opening night lineup. Forward Travis Konecny and defenseman Ivan Provorov have both looked good so far in the pre-season; Konecny is leading the team with six points in six games and Provorov is playing big minutes on a pairing with Mark Streit.
Konecny has played up and down the lineup so far in the pre-season, and figures to be a feisty bottom-six forward with the potential to move up the lineup as needed. He can play either wing or center. Count head coach Dave Hakstol among those impressed by Konecny’s “ability to read a play and make things happen.”
Meanwhile, Provorov has shown great chemistry with Streit after another wonderful season with the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL, with 21 goals and 73 points in 62 games. He might be the best of many high-end defensive prospects in the Flyers system.
Seeing as Konecny and Provorov are both still junior-eligible, they’ll need to either play in the NHL or go back to junior. Expect both men to get at least nine games to show he’s ready.
- The Red Wings may be without Niklas Kronwall to start the season. The veteran defenseman has a knee injury according to Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News. Coach Jeff Blashill says if Kronwall isn’t available on opening night then the Red Wings will carry eight defensemen to start the season.
- Former Hurricanes depth defenseman Michal Jordan has signed with Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL. It was reported earlier this off-season that Jordan was seeking a one-way contract as an unrestricted free agent (UFA). The Hurricanes had apparently offered him a two-way contract but Jordan wasn’t interested. Jordan has 3 goals and 7 points in 79 NHL games over the last four seasons.
- And speaking of players signing overseas, San Jose Sharks 2014 second-round pick Noah Rod has signed a five-year extension with his Swiss club, Genève-Servette HC. According to ESPN’s Corey Pronman, Rod does have an out-clause to come to North America to play with the Sharks.