By Brandon Murphy (@2Murphy8)
Travis Konecny will go down as one of the biggest steals of draft day 2015. Many teams were concerned about his checkered history with injuries, and his slight frame. So he slid to 24th overall….
The Philadelphia Flyers knew what they were getting with Travis Konecny; a small but feisty player who can skate with the best of them and use his quick release and hands to generate scoring chances. That’s why they traded up for him. Konecny is the kind of player the Flyers needed. He is extremely dynamic and creative on the fly. His speed is perfectly suited for the NHL.
When you see Travis Konecny, think of Zach Parise. Electric, gritty, great wrist shot, quick and agile. He was captain of the Ottawa 67’s for two seasons in the OHL before being traded to Sarnia for a chance to win the Memorial Cup.
He posted 101 points in 60 games during that season, making him one of eight 100-point scorers in the OHL that season.
Konecny plays a big man’s game, listed at 5-foot-10 and 178 lbs., he isn’t afraid to go to the front of the net and play a physical game. He scored his first career goal against the Buffalo Sabres on October 25.
He is fearless, plays with energy and loves to get physical. Jake Voracek said in an interview that Konecny was “a machine.” And rightfully so, he is a bull and loves to mix it up.
Konecny ended his rookie season with 28 points in 70 games. He often tried to do too much on the ice, as if he was still in junior, but still played a solid game, generated chances and used his speed to create space. One thing he didn’t do enough: shoot the puck. With his great release, Konecny could have put home more than 11 goals, but he sometimes made an extra move or pass that would spoil his scoring chance. It was a thing of beauty when his old junior tactics worked.
Konecny will continue to fill out his small frame and adjust to the NHL level. He had a good season overall considering he could have went back to Sarnia for another year. Hextall felt like he was ready to make the jump and he was. Konecny will continue to improve and help the Flyers solve their scoring woes.
Photo credit: Sportsnet