Tag: Nick Schultz

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

With belief in building ‘from the back end out,’ Flyers take d-man Provorov


SUNRISE —  Even with an “obvious” need at forward, the Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t pass up the opportunity to select Ivan Provorov with the seventh overall pick at today’s draft.

Provorov, an 18-year-old who was born in Russia but starred last season for the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, is considered by many to be the best defenseman in the draft.

Yes, even better than Noah Hanifin, the Boston College blue-liner that Carolina took fifth overall.

Provorov had 61 points in 60 games for Brandon. He’s been lauded for his ability to create offense in the attacking zone and beat the forecheck in the defensive zone. Oh, and he’s pretty good at stopping opposing players, too.

“We believe that you build from the back end out, and Ivan is going to be a big part of our defense moving forward,” GM Ron Hextall said. “We’re really excited to have him. Really good all around player, great hockey sense.”

The Flyers’ defense, a weakness since Chris Pronger was forced to stop playing, is going to be very different in the near future. Before today, they already had well-regarded prospects Samuel Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Travis Sanheim. Radko Gudas and Michael Del Zotto, both 25, could also be part of the future group. Plus, they signed Russian Yevgeny Medvedev, and who knows how that works out?

For Hextall, the challenge before next season may be to shed one, two or even more of Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, or Nick Schultz.

Related: Flyers won’t trade Del Zotto, but ‘something will have to give’ on crowded blue line

Flyers won’t trade Del Zotto, but ‘something will have to give’ on crowded blue line

Carolina Hurricanes v Philadelphia Flyers

After adding Yevgeni Medvedev to the mix yesterday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall knows he’s going to have to do “something” about all the defensemen he’s got.

As in, he knows he can’t keep all of them. Especially not with a bunch of talented young blue-liners waiting in the wings.

Here’s how the situation looks, courtesy generalfanager:


Hextall said yesterday that he plans to re-sign and keep Michael Del Zotto, so we can take the 24-year-old off the trade list.

Meanwhile, Andrew MacDonald may not have a market whatsoever, given he’s signed through 2020 and hasn’t exactly shone since joining the Flyers.

Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann are pending UFAs, so their trade value is automatically limited. Perhaps there’s still a GM out there who believes Schenn, 25, has good potential. Then again, maybe not.

Nick Schultz has a reasonable contract and would have some trade value. But do the Flyers have anyone to step in and reliably do all the dirty work that he does? Remember that they don’t have Braydon Coburn anymore.

Mark Streit may be their most valuable trade chip. He’s 37, so it’s not like he’s going to be part of the long-term future in Philly. And he can still produce offensively, as evidenced by the 52 points he put up this season, the third most on the team.

The problem with trading Streit is that there are still expectations for the current roster, as Ed Snider made perfectly clear. And with all those talented, young defenseman in the system, might Streit provide a good role model?

“We’re going to have to do something,” Hextall said, per the Daily News. “Yevgeni we thought was a real good, solid upgrade on defense and was someone we couldn’t let go by. But yeah, something will have to give here.”

Flyers add to crowded blueline, sign veteran KHLer Medvedev (Update: one year, $3M)


The Philadelphia Flyers made a rather intriguing pickup on Wednesday, signing 32-year-old blueliner Yevgeni Medvedev out of the KHL.

Updated: Per Sportsnet, it’s a one-year pact worth $3 million.

Medvedev has spent the majority of his professional career with Ak Bars Kazan, and is regarded as one of the Russian league’s best defensemen. He’s represented his country internationally on several occasions — including each of the last four World Championships — and, domestically, has captured two Gagarin Cup league championships (2008-09, 2009-10) and has been a three-time KHL All-Star (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14).

Described by GM Ron Hextall as a solid, two-way defenseman that can move the puck, Medvedev is a relatively tall, lanky d-man (6-foot-3, 187 pounds) that has good skating ability for his size.

Given his age and experience level, it’s safe to assume Philly signed Medvedev to play in the top-six. In light of that, GM Ron Hextall has some decisions to make — Philly has six d-men under contract for next year (Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Nick Schultz, Radko Gudas), still has to decide the future of RFA Michael Del Zotto and also signed Swiss prospect Christian Marti to an entry-level earlier this month.

What’s more, Philly has a crop of talented prospects on the horizon — Samuel Morin, Travis Sanheim, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg — and it’s possible new head coach Dave Hakstol could be much more aggressive in activating his defense than his predecessors were.

“His teams go at the net, shoot for rebounds, make plays, and really emphasize the defense being an active part of the offense,” NCAA hockey analyst Dave Starman said, per NHL.com. “His use of weak side [defensemen] to pinch and extend plays is a huge component to their offensive success, and defensive as well, as they don’t retreat and regroup as much as other teams did.”

Report: Callahan has emergency appendectomy, out for Game 6

Ryan Callahan

The Lightning need just one more victory to eliminate Montreal and advance to the Eastern Conference Final, but the Canadiens have the momentum after winning two straight games. Before Tampa Bay’s fight to avoid the embarrassment of suffering a reverse sweep continues, the team reportedly got some bad news tonight.

Forward Ryan Callahan is having an emergency appendectomy. It’s not clear how long he’ll be sidelined for as a result, but he won’t play in Game 6 on Tuesday, per the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith.

Update: Callahan underwent surgery at 9:00 p.m. ET and is in stable condition after the procedure, according to Joe Smith

Callahan, 30, has three assists and a team-high plus-seven rating in 12 playoff games. He’s averaged 18:17 minutes per contest, including an average of 3:00 minutes with the man advantage.

While he isn’t a prolific scorer for the Lightning, he has been one of their most physical forwards with 42 hits and the team has performed better in the playoffs from a Corsi perspective when he’s on the ice compared to when he’s not. He also ranks third among Tampa Bay forwards with nine blocked shots.

Losing Callahan is a significant blow for Tampa Bay and will test its depth. After being a healthy scratch in Game 5, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jonathan Drouin be reinserted into the lineup.

Flyers sign Swiss defenseman Marti


The Flyers have added another young defensive prospect to the mix, signing Swiss blueliner Christian Marti to an entry-level deal.

Marti, 22, joins the Flyers after two seasons in the Swiss National League A with club side Geneve-Servette. At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, he’s got good size and showed some offensive flair during his one and only season of junior hockey in Quebec two years ago, scoring 35 points in 46 games for QMJHL Blainville-Boisbriand.

Marti also represented Switzerland at the 2012 World Juniors in Alberta.

It’ll be interesting to see where Marti fits in the Flyers system. The club has seven NHL d-men under contract for next season — Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Luke Schenn, Nicklas Grossmann, Nick Schultz, and Radko Gudas — while Michael Del Zotto is a pending restricted free agent.

Highly-touted draftees Samuel Morin, Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg could also push for roster spots.