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Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov will make Flyers roster, Ron Hextall confirms

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall confirmed Monday afternoon that much-touted prospects Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny will make the Flyers' NHL roster for the start of the season.

For the first time in more than three decades, the Flyers will have two 19-year-old rookies as regulars in their lineup.

Left winger Travis Konecny and defenseman Ivan Provorov have made the Flyers' opening-night roster, general manager Ron Hextall confirmed on Monday.

Both had outstanding training camps.

"They earned it," Hextall said.

Hextall said there are no plans to give the rookies a nine-game tryout, after which they could be sent back to juniors and not start their entry-level contracts.

The GM revealed that he told both players they would be here for the entire season.

"They're here. They made our team. This isn't a tryout," Hextall said. "If I felt like either player wasn't ready to be here the whole year, they wouldn't be here right now."

Konecny, who led the Flyers with six points in the preseason, was ecstatic to learn he had earned a roster spot and called it a "relief" that he isn't here on a tryout basis. He will start the year on the second line, alongside Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek.

Provorov will be paired with 38-year-old Mark Streit.

It is the first time the Flyers have had two 19-year-old rookies since 2000-01 (Justin Williams, Maxime Ouellet), and believed to be the first time they have had two 19-year-old regulars at the start of a season since 1984-85, when Peter Zezel and Derrick Smith were in the lineup.

Hextall told the players they had made the team during a meeting Sunday night at the Flyers' training facility in Voorhees. Konecny said he and Provorov didn't know what to expect.

"Me and Provy were pretty nervous walking over here," Konecny said. He said "getting the news about staying around here was awesome. I couldn't be more happy."

Added Konecny: "I came into camp with the mind-set of making the team. The pieces were kind of just falling into place for me through camp. I was getting put into spots to have a good opportunity to prove myself and what I could do."

After playing extremely well in his first few preseason games, "I started feeling confident and at that point, I kind of settled in and thought if I keep doing what I'm doing and stay comfortable and confident in my abilities, then I have a good chance to make the team," he said.

Konecny said his father was "really proud of me" and that his mother was crying joyously when he told them he had secured a roster spot.

"There was excitement for everything we've built up, the long trips, driving up and down the 401 back home, and hockey school, it all just came into one moment with my family," Konecny said. "My brother's going to be the biggest fan in the building, it's going to be awesome."

Provorov called his father at 4 a.m., Russian time, to tell him he was an NHL player.

"My dad couldn't fall asleep afterward," he said, smiling. "I couldn't fall asleep until late last night, too. It was really exciting. This is what you work for in the summer, the whole 14 years of playing hockey. It's kind of the end of one road, and starting a new one."

Hextall said the rookies "worked hard all summer. I think when we sent Ivan back last year, the message to Ivan was, 'Go back to Brandon and be the best defenseman in junior hockey.' So Ivan goes back to Brandon and he is the best defenseman in junior hockey. Then he comes to camp and plays real well. So he's made this team. Travis was similar. Probably going into camp you thought Ivan had a good shot and Travis had a shot. But he's done a real good job and full marks to him."

Provorov was chosen seventh overall in the 2015 draft; Konecny was drafted 24th overall. Both were first-round selections.

"We've been together since the draft and we're really good friends," Provorov said.

Provorov, who idolized Nick Lidstrom when he was growing up, said it was an honor to play next to the veteran Streit and that he would "try to learn as much as I can every day from him."