Photo via: Ottawa Citizen
With the Flyers still potentially needing depth scoring for next season and a trade seeming unlikely due to cap constraints with the pending Brayden Schenn situation to be resolved, it’s time to look at the internal options.
Projecting Travis Konecny as a potential player for the big club this year is one way to shore up the scoring depth.
A talented scoring forward that can play either as a center or on the wing; plays with the bite and intensity of a guy who is willing to do anything to win a game. Possesses dynamic skating ability that allows him to accelerate rapidly with each step, incredible hockey sense, electrifying puckhandling skills, and a lightning release on his shot; when you put this skillset together with hard-nosed determination, proactiveness in all three zones, and a physical willingness to grind and persevere, you get a game-changer who can be extremely difficult to play against. (Curtis Joe, EP 2014)
He has the skillset needed to succeed in the NHL and with smaller players becoming more prevalent, his lack of size should not be a concern for anyone.
NHL Equivalency is based on scoring rate changes across leagues. Including playoffs, across both teams he played for, Konecny had 104 points in 62 games or 1.677 point per game ratio. This translates to .537 points per game in the NHL or 44 points per 82 games. This means Konecny is easily a second line right wing in terms of scoring.
And NHLE Projections only account for the first season in the new league, obviously as Konecny matures and develops, he would likely enter top line territory for scoring.
Now, the CBA prohibits Konecny from playing in the AHL this year, so Konecny is either going back to the OHL or sticking with the big club. However, Konecny does have a potential nine game slide where he can play up to nine games without burning a contract year. With Brayden Schenn sitting the first three games due to a suspension, Konecny should get a look with the big club until Schenn is ready to return. There’s no downside to it, because once Schenn returns, he can slide back to the OHL without penalty.
Long term, the Flyers could look to see if Nicolas Aube-Kubel or Oskar Lindblom, who aren’t subject to sliding, can come up from the Phantoms. Of course, Dale Weise also had improved scoring compared to Ryan White, so the problem has already been partially solved.