Current Team: Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL
Date of Birth: January 13, 1997
Place of Birth: Yaroslavl, Russia
Weight: 201 lbs
Though Noah Hanifin has been billed as the draft's top available blueliner, one could easily enter Provorov's name into the discussion. He's a complete package of skating, puck skill and physicality. Granted, he's not the biggest player, but he does not back down from a battle.
As you can see from an interview below, his English is excellent, after being in North America since 2011. He's committed to being an NHL player, foregoing an opportunity to return to his homeland to play in the KHL, instead taking the traditional path of North American players and developing in Canadian junior.
His offensive abilities are what stand out the most. He's a solid passer, and has the hands of a skilled forward. He'll get plenty of powerplay time in the pros, but will easily be able to handle top-four, perhaps even top pairing minutes in the NHL.
An offensively gifted defenceman who can direct the game's pace when the puck is on his stick. Provorov is a quick and agile skater with an accurate release on his shot, which he can get off anywhere below the blue line; creates many chances on the power play and can even create offense during the penalty kill. Is an adroit and creative passer who knows how to use his teammates well. All-in-all, a complete defenceman who knows how goals are scored and executes accordingly. - Elite Prospects
Assets: Has excellent skating ability and a penchant for displaying tremendous mobility on the ice. Is also extremely conscious of the defensive zone. Has all-round ability. Produces good offensive totals, too. Flaws: Doesn't own ideal size for the National Hockey League level, so he must prove capable of handling the front of his own net. Gets into trouble when he tries to do too much, so sometimes less is more with him. Career Potential: Excellent all-round, mobile defenseman with good upside. - The Hockey News
A Good Fit in Columbus?
The Jackets need a boost in the defensive pipeline. Their top defense prospect - Mike Reilly - may not even sign with the Jackets. That leaves shutdown defenders and former second round picks Dillon Heatherington and Ryan Collins as the remaining top blueline prospects.
Provorov would be an excellent partner for Ryan Murray. Their respective skill sets compliment each other perfectly.
Provorov not only fills an organizational weakness, but he's also one of the top players available. There's a chance that he may not be around when the Jackets pick 8th overall, but if he's there they would be wise to call his name from the podium.
Provorov in Action