PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Flyers winger and national hockey analyst Keith Jones doesn’t often get excited about much.
But on the morning atfer the Flyers’ 4-3 preseason overtime win over the Rangers, Jonesy had a little extra pep in his step walking into the 94WIP Morning Show.
“He didn’t even need a car,” Angelo Cataldi said of Jonesy. “He could’ve flown here. The man is — he doesn’t normally get that excited.”
So what is the former Flyers winger so excited about? 19-year-old Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov.
“Well I went with two things to watch,” Jones said, who did color commentory on Monday night’s Flyers preseason game. “[Travis] Konecny was one and he scored a goal, which was great. And Provorov was the other reason. And I come away from that knowning that Provorov is going to be the Flyers’ number one defenseman in a very short time and you do not find number one D men around.”
Listen: Keith Jones on Ivan Provorov
Jonesy was most impressed with Provorov’s ability to see the game at such a young age, comparing him to one of the all-time Flyers great defenseman.
“He’s 19 and he was the smartest player on the ice,” Jonesy said of Provorov. “I could not be more impressed with how he plays. You just don’t see this, the complete game. I watched him almost under the magnifying glass for every shift and he sees the game remarkably well for a 19-year-old. He looked like a 30-year-old the way he played.
“Provorov is the real deal. I haven’t talked to [general manager Ron Hextall] Hexy about it all, but I don’t think there’s any way you can send him back. To me, already he looks like Kimmo Timomen who was a very good defenseman. I can’t get over how well he sees the game and how he performs. It looks like he can play all night.”
The Flyers drafted both Provorov (No. 7) and Konency (No. 24) in the first-round of the 2015 draft. The two 19-year-olds contributed to the Flyers’ third goal of the game on Monday night.
The Flyers open the regular season on Friday, October 14th at the Los Angeles Kings.