The Columbus Blue Jackets wanted to improve their defense this off-season and that is exactly what they've done by acquiring Ivan Provorov and Damon Severson.
Provorov is still just 26 years old and under contract for two more seasons on a relatively affordable contract. Yet, his style of play has some pros and cons to it, but all things considered, he should really help the Blue Jackets defense which struggled last season.
Although games are still months away, let's take a look at some pros and cons of how Provorov fits with the Blue Jackets.
Pro: Ivan Provorov can run the power play
Ivan Provorov can help run the second power play for Columbus as Zach Werenski will likely be quarterbacking the first unit.
Last season, the Blue Jackets had a miserable power play of just 18.4% which ranked 25th in the NHL. A big reason why was the fact Werenski got hurt and they had no true defenseman to help quarterback it at the blue line and set up their offense.
Adding Provorov, who recorded 27 points last season, can help with the second unit as he has a solid shot and is a good playmaker. Although he struggled on the PP last season, recording only two points, he has all the tools to be a good second-unit defenseman in Columbus on the power play. Provorov spoke to the media following his signing, saying:
“We didn’t play with the puck as much the last two years (in Philadelphia), so it’s hard to create something offensively when you don’t have the puck, when you defend the whole time. That’s why I’m excited to play on this team, because there are a lot of guys who can play with the puck and there’s a lot of guys that can put the puck in the net.”
Con: Ivan Provorov can be a liability on defense
A big knock on Ivan Provorov's game is his defensive ability. At times, the Russian struggles when the puck is in his zone for a lot of time as he makes a lot of mental mistakes.
However, in Philadelphia, he was tasked with going at the opposing team's best lines, which won't be the case in Columbus. Provorov will likely slide into a second-pairing role leaving the Werenski-Severson pair to defend against the best lines, which should benefit the Russian.
Pro: Ivan Provorov is under contract for two more seasons
A benefit of trading for Provorov this summer is the fact he is under contract for two more seasons. If Columbus does struggle this season, they won't be forced to trade the 26-year-old at the deadline and can instead work with him and build chemistry.
He's also making under $7 million a year which is great value for Columbus, especially if Provorov can return to his old self.
Poll : Do you think Ivan Provorov will fit well with the Blue Jackets?