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Flyers keep 2015 picks Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny

First-round draft choices make roster, likely to stay in NHL all season

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

Defenseman Ivan Provorov and forward Travis Konecny have made the Philadelphia Flyers' opening night roster, general manager Ron Hextall said Monday

Provorov and Konecny, each 19, are expected to stay in the NHL all season.

"This isn't a nine-game tryout or a six-game tryout," Hextall told the Flyers website. "Those two kids are on this team right now, and at this point, we expect them to be here all year."

The Flyers have the option of playing Provorov or Konecny up to nine NHL games before sending him back to his junior team to delay the start of his entry-level contract.

Video: PHI@NYR: Konecny's short-side wrister beats Lundqvist

Provorov, who was the No. 7 pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, had two assists, a plus-2 rating and 10 shots on goal in six preseason games. Last season, he helped Brandon of the Western Hockey League win the league championship and was named the best defenseman in the Canadian Hockey League.

The Flyers started training camp with six defensemen on a one-way contract; they also had Shayne Gostisbehere, last season's Calder Trophy runner-up. But Brandon Manning is week-to-week because of an upper-body injury, and Radko Gudas was suspended six games Monday by the NHL Department of Player Safety for an illegal hit against Boston Bruins forward Austin Czarnik on Saturday.

"When we sent Ivan back last year, the message was go back to Brandon and be the best defenseman in junior hockey," Hextall said. "And Ivan goes back to Brandon, best defenseman in junior hockey. Comes into [training] camp and plays real well, and he made this team."

Provorov said it was hard for him to fall asleep when he was given the news Sunday.

"That's what you work for in the summer, your whole 14 years of playing hockey right now," Provorov said. "It's the end of one road and the start of another. … For me, every day I showed up, I tried to work as hard as I can and try to learn as much as I can. I had a good summer and I was ready. I knew if I show up here ready I'd be fine."

Helping Konecny's case was a lower-body injury sustained by forward Scott Laughton that will keep him out 3-4 weeks.

Konecny, the No. 24 pick at the 2015 draft, said knowing he would be in the NHL all season was a bit of a relief.

"I still have to perform and do what I have to do to make the roster each and every day and improve myself and work hard," he said. "Hearing it's not a nine-game tryout gave me the relief to relax a little bit and settle in and just play your game and have fun and enjoy the moment."

Konecny led the Flyers in scoring in the preseason with three goals and six points in six games, and could provide a boost for an offense that was 22nd in the League last season at 2.57 goals per game.

"Travis has been a nice fit," Hextall said. "… Probably going into camp you thought Ivan had a good shot and thought Travis had a shot. But he's done a good job, and it's full merit."

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