TWO YOUNG DEFENSEMEN HAVE arrived as top-level players at an early age. They took very different routes to get here. Provorov is a left-shooting Russian who came to North America at 13 to pursue his hockey dream. He played midget in Pennsylvania, junior in Iowa and major junior in Brandon. McAvoy is a right-shooting American who played midget in New Jersey, went to the U.S. National Team Development Program in Michigan, then played in the NCAA with Boston University. Both became NHL stars at 20. Both are versatile and will be able to help their teams in all situations. I project Provorov as being an elite-level defender who can contribute offensively. I project McAvoy as being an elite-level offensive defenseman who is effective defensively. I want them both on my team now and for many years to come. However, in hockey, choices must be made based on the value of each player’s role. I value offense from the blueline more than any other attribute in the game. I choose Charlie McAvoy.
Tom Thompson has been an NHL scout/ director/assistant GM since 1985