The Philadelphia Flyers’ team awards for the 2019-20 season are beginning to roll out, with the team announcing that the winner of the Barry Ashbee Trophy (best defensive player) is Ivan Provorov, who picks it up for the second time in four years. The 23-year old also won the award in his rookie season.
First awarded back in 1975, this award has been awarded to elite talent in the past. From Kimmo Timonen, to Eric Desjardins, there’s a certain level of prestige here.
Provy has enjoyed an emphatic 2019-20 campaign. With 13 goals and 36 points to his name through 69 games, he ended a shortened season just four goals away from a new career-high. Sprinkle in 16 power-play goals and emergence on the top unit and you can see why he was so deserving. Provorov also led the team in blocked shots.
The young blue-liner had the following to say about winning the award to NHL.com:
“It’s just a great honor. There are a lot of great defensemen that have played for the Flyers and have won this in the past,” said Provorov. “I think overall this year, our defense is a lot better. We’re defending as a five-man unit, the forwards are back-checking so it allows us to step up and get the puck back faster.”Quote Via NHL.com
The Russian averaged 24:51 of ice time in 2019, leading the team in that metric in each of his last four seasons.
Some would argue that Matt Niskanen or Robert Hagg should’ve had an inside track for this award, but Provy’s presence helped lift the Flyers offensively just as much as it did defensively, and you simply can’t ignore the resurgence after an underwhelming 2018-19 campaign.
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Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre