Get to know a draft pick — Ivan Provorov

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Like we’ve done in the past, we’re profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. But this year, something new — we’re featuring special guest analysis from former Minnesota Wild scout Mark Seidel, who currently serves as the president of North American Central Scouting.

Ivan Provorov (D)

Height: 6’0 Weight: 201 Shoots: Left

Team: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Country: Russia

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 7 among North American Skaters

What kind of player is he?

An all-around great defenseman.

Provorov can be an impact player with the puck, as he demonstrated last season with his 15 goals and 61 points in 60 WHL contests, but he’s just as effective defensively. He’s capable of playing a physical game and his high hockey IQ leads to him taking advantage of opportunities at both ends of the ice.

He’s a potential top-10 pick and some might wonder if he’ll, justifiably or not, end up being past over by some teams that fear he’ll eventually bolt to the KHL. However, Provorov hasn’t followed the same path as many of the other high end Russian-born players as he came to North America in his early teens. In fact, he passed up an opportunity to join his hometown Lokomotiv Yaroslavl when he opted to join the Wheat Kings, so he’s already shown that the NHL is his desired destination.

Seidel says:

“Provorov burst onto the scene this year for the Wheat Kings. The Russian defenseman has a complete game, but it’s his offensive skill set that got scouts excited — he makes great passes, can rush the puck when opportunities present themselves and possesses a big shot from the point on the power play. The big question? If his size will prevent him from becoming a star in the NHL. As for concerns about drafting a Russian high in the first round, it would be a moot point with Provorov — he’s played in North America his entire career, with no inclination of returning to Russia.”

NHL comparable: Tyson Barrie

For more 2015 NHL Draft profiles, click here.