At just 5’10” 176 pounds, 19-year-old Travis Konecny has the opportunity of a lifetime for the Philadelphia Flyers. Konecny is the top forward prospect for the Flyers, and rightfully so. Throughout the preseason thus far, Konecny has done a tremendous job of making a case for himself to remain in Philadelphia after the next round of cuts.
Konecny has not disappointed the Flyers or their faithful fans yet, as his stellar offense has made it difficult to decide whether or not he should remain on the team. In just three games played, Konecny has three points, including a spectacular deflection from an Andrew MacDonald slap-shot from the point during a 2-0 Flyers win over the New Jersey Devils. He added an assist later in the game on a beautiful pass to Michael Raffl.
In the Flyers’ preseason matchup against the Boston Bruins, Konecny played on the top line with Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier. Although they did lose 4-3 in a shootout, Konecny continued to show progress against NHL teams, so it is going to be hard to send him back down. He was on the ice when Couturier had tied the game up at a goal a piece. Later in the game he had a great chance to put the puck away past Bruins’ goaltender Malcolm Subban, however, Brayden Schenn managed to slam home the rebound.
How Travis Konecny Can Help
Travis Konecny is a natural born center, however, one thing that sets him apart from other prospects is his ability to play on the wing. This is huge for Philadelphia as the Flyers have a log jam at center, with nine players vying for four spots. Konecny also switched over to left wing during the game against the Boston Bruins, which was a nice experiment as he fit in very nicely with Voracek and Couturier. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this line combination during the regular season, and it has the potential to seriously bolster the Flyers’ goalscoring. Konecny’s explosive speed and acceleration, paired with his innate hockey intelligence and puck handling ability, has the ability to create space and separation in the fast-moving NHL.
The regular season is a different beast, and there are still questions about how well his game will translate. If he makes the team he will most likely be on the third line. However, he has proven that he has what it takes to stick with the second with his preseason play. If Konecny does not make the team, then he will be sent back down to the OHL and play for the Sarnia Sting, where he will undoubtedly shine.
If the Flyers do decide to keep him, he can play in up to nine games before they must make a decision about his role within the organization. Either way, he is certainly making it difficult for the Flyers to decide what to do with him. Whether or not he appears as a staple in the senior lineup this year, Konecny possesses the skill set to be successful in the NHL and will certainly earn that spot soon.