By Tom Dougherty, CSNPhilly.com
Ron Hextall and the Flyers got their man.
With the No. 7 pick of the the 2015 NHL draft, the Flyers on Friday night selected Brandon defenseman Ivan Provorov.
It’s the third straight year the Flyers have drafted a blueliner in the first round.
“We believe that you build from the back end out, and Ivan is going to be a big part of our defense moving forward,” Hextall told NBCSN. “We’re really excited to have him. Real good all-around player, great hockey sense.”
Because Provorov is 18, the 6-foot-1, 201-pound defender has two more years of junior eligibility.
Provorov finished as the No. 7 North American skater in Central Scouting’s final draft rankings.
Hextall said he talked with Provorov at the NHL combine earlier in the month and also brought him to Philadelphia, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the Brandon connection.
“It didn’t come into play at all,” Hextall, who is from Brandon, Manitoba, and also played for the Wheat Kings, said.
“We had to pick the best player. It just happened to be with Brandon, my hometown and my junior team so we’re excited about it.”
In 60 games last season with the Wheat Kings, Provorov scored 15 goals and 61 points in 60 games.
Provorov joins a Flyers farm system that includes defensemen Travis Sanheim (No. 17 pick, 2014), Sam Morin (No. 11, 2013), Shayne Gostisbehere (No. 78, 2012) and Robert Hagg (No. 41, 2013).
With his second first-round pick, Hextall traded up with the Toronto Maple Leafs, from No. 29 to No. 24, to draft center/right wing Travis Konecny.
To move up, the Flyers sent the 29th pick and 61st overall pick to Toronto.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: See the story on CSNPhilly.com)