The Blue Jackets allowed 4.01 goals per game last season, a mark that ranked second-worst in the league. One of the moves general manager Jarmo Kekalainen made to address this was acquiring Ivan Provorov from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for the No. 22 overall pick in the 2023 Draft and a conditional second-round pick in either 2024 or 2025.
In seven seasons with Philadelphia, Provorov has played in 532 of a possible 535 regular season games, so he's proven to be durable. In those games, he's posted 65 goals and 152 assists for 217 points.
|Ivan Provorov NHL stats (via hockeydb.com)||Regular Season||Playoffs||Playoffs|
On Wednesday, Provorov said his adjustment to Columbus has been good so far.
"[It's a] new city, new organization, [and] new teammates," Provorov said. "It takes a little bit to get used to, but everyone's been really welcoming. It's been a ton of new positive energy and [I'm] just really excited to officially start camp today and get going toward [the] preseason and regular season."
The 26-year-old from Yaroslavl, Russia, faced the Blue Jackets four times last season and praised the talent the team has.
"There's definitely a ton of guys that can make plays," Provorov said. "Obviously, it was [an] unfortunate season for the team here last year with a ton of injuries. And that stuff happens. That's part of hockey. And hopefully, it's all behind everyone here, everyone can stay healthy and we can start off the season on the right foot and keep growing and keep building as a team. But, the one thing that stood out is there [are] a ton of guys that can make plays and put the puck in the net."
In two of his first four seasons, Provorov scored at least 13 goals. Since then, his highest goal total has been nine in the 2021-22 season. He attributed his dip in scoring to spending much more time on defense than on offense over the last three years, adding that the Flyers lost the possession battle on most nights.
"But overall here, I'm excited," Provorov said. "Like I said, there's a ton of guys that can make plays and a lot of guys that can put the puck in the net. So hopefully we can score a lot of goals as a team [and] defend less. I think overall when the team is winning and the team is scoring, it will bring everyone's personal stats up."
He describes his style of play as a two-way game.
"I've always played that way ever since youth hockey," Provorov said. "Then moving on to juniors and coming into the NHL. So, I won't cheat for offense. I think every time I'm on the ice, I try to play the right way. So I take care of my end first, and obviously, when we have the puck, I love to create, I love to join the rush and help the team offensively."
Provorov said he's heard great things about playing and living in Columbus and that it's better than it seemed when he came as a visiting player when all he would be able to do was go to the hotel and a nearby restaurant.
"Actually," Provorov said. "Once you spend some time here, it's a great place. [It's] very quiet [and] peaceful."
While his on-ice impact is yet to be seen, the Blue Jackets hope Provorov's addition leads to fewer pucks in their own net.