WHEN THE Flyers' prospects finished their initial warmup yesterday morning, the first on-ice day at rookie training camp, it was pretty clear who the best defenseman was.
The "Fab Five" defensive prospects, as athletic trainer Jim McCrossin called them over the summer, were all on the ice. But the youngest of the bunch was rather impressive.
Sure, it's only drills, but the way seventh overall pick Ivan Provorov dominated Flyers prospects in one-on-one and two-on-one drills - among others - provided a glimpse at just why many around the league claim the 18-year-old to be NHL-ready.
"All the players are really good here, all the forwards," Provorov said. "So you just take away time and space, use my long stick, skating ability, gap and play physical when I can."
Provorov spent the time between July's prospect development camp and training camp with his junior team (Brandon) back home in Russia. He returned to Manitoba in early September and had four assists in two preseason games before reporting to Voorhees for Flyers camp.
When full camp begins Friday, Provorov will have the chance to show his skills against NHL vets. From there, it's a time and numbers game.
"I'm going to show my game, compete hard and obviously see what happens," Provorov said. "I'll get to play a couple exhibition games and see from there. I'll be able to understand if I'm ready or not."
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall indicated it was unlikely there would be any veterans invited to camp on a professional tryout contract . . . Comcast SportsNet announced an addition to its preseason television schedule. Monday's preseason-opening, split-squad game in Lehigh Valley (7 p.m.) was added to the TV schedule. Half of the Flyers in camp play the Islanders at Lehigh Valley's PPL Center while the other half travels to Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Confirmed participants in Lehigh Valley include captain Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and new coach Dave Hakstol.