Travis Konecny is officially a Philadelphia Flyer.
The 2015 first round pick, taken by the Flyers with the No. 24 overall pick, has signed his entry-level contract with the club. Like Ivan Provorov's ELC signed several weeks back, it only goes into effect if Konecny plays 10 NHL games this year. Same deal next year. It only starts if he plays those 10 games. Konecny can't play in the American Hockey League next season, so he will either be in the NHL with the Flyers or the OHL with the Ottawa 67's.
Konecny is the Flyers' best prospect at forward, and that was true the second his name was called last month. While he might not make the NHL this fall -- in fact, he probably won't -- he has a higher ceiling than any other forward in the system. Higher than Nick Cousins, higher than Taylor Leier, and yes, while Scott Laughton is close to becoming an NHL regular, Konecny has more top-end potential than Laughton.
That doesn't mean Konecny will fulfill it, of course. But it's going to be fun watching this kid grow into an NHL player over the next few years. Here's more of what we had to say about Konecny back before the 2015 draft:
Konecny is a guy who's got a pedigree to his name, as he was the OHL's first overall pick in the 2013 draft. His best attribute is his skating, and boy, can he fly -- it's not an exaggeration to outright call him one of the draft's speediest skaters, which is saying something considering how many of the guys we've profiled so far that have "good skating" as a plus attribute.
That skating helps in a lot of ways, but calling Konecny a do-it-all kind of player is reasonably accurate. He's a very creative offensive player, who has high-end offensive skill on and off the puck that allows him to open up chances near the net. He also isn't afraid to play a physical style of hockey or to try and make something happen by hitting guys who are bigger than him. Which, in fairness, is true of most -- Konecny, at 5'10" and 175 pounds, can be reasonably classified as small.
Still, he's a very strong all-around player. ESPN's Corey Pronman ranked him among the draft's best prospects in each of four different categories -- skating (fourth), puck skills (sixth), passing (eighth), and hockey IQ (eighth). With the package he brings to the table, it's hard not to see him at least making an impact at the NHL level.
The Flyers are difficult and don't announce contract terms in their signing announcements, but he's probably getting the same deal as Ivan Provorov here with a $925,000 salary cap hit. We'll update when the terms leak.