May 14, 2016
The Memorial Cup is the Final Four of Canadian junior hockey, the pinnacle of the sport. The event is contested between the champions of the three member leagues and a host team.
And the Philadelphia Flyers will be well represented by a couple of young blueliners that were acquired in very different ways.
Over in the Western Hockey League, Ivan Provorov, the seventh overall pick in of the 2015 NHL Draft, captured the title in five games with the Brandon Wheat Kings in an 8-4 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday night. Provorov, the WHL’s defenseman of the year, contributed one assist and was +4 on the night.
Despite Ron Hextall’s conservative approach when it comes to promoting prospects, Provorov is thought to have a good chance to make the Flyers next year out of training camp. The 19-year-old defenseman (#9) got the secondary assist on this one:
The Brandon Wheat Kings are 2016 WHL Champions. pic.twitter.com/zmvvqUazXT— The WHL (@TheWHL) May 14, 2016
On the other side of the country, in the high-scoring Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies knocked off the Shawinigan Cataractes 7-2 on Thursday to win the President’s Cup in five games. They lost the name battle, but won the war.
That means Provorov will have some Flyers company at the Memorial Cup in the form of 6’5”, 209 lb. defenseman Philippe Myers. Myers, who the Flyers signed as an undrafted free agent in September, looks like a steal. Traditional plus-minus is a statistic with a bunch of noise, but Myers was +52 in 63 games played this season, tops in the QMJHL. The league’s next best defenseman was +40.
People took notice. Myers was ranked 38th on Craig Button’s (TSN) Top 50 NHL-affiliated prospects. Also appearing on that list were Flyers prospects Provorov (4th), Travis Sanheim (24th), and Travis Konecny (29th).
Myers contributed 16 points in 20 playoff games for the Huskies. One of those points came on this power-play blast:
The other two teams in the Memorial Cup are the London Knights, the champion of the Ontario Hockey League, and the Red Deer Rebels, who are hosting the big shindig. Those two teams will kick things off on May 20th.
Provorov and Myers will meet a week from today on May 21st at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Memorial Cup will air on NHL Network.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann