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2018-19 Player Review: Travis Konecny showed more consistency this year

The 22 year old enjoyed a less streaky season.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

This year, we’ve learned quite a lot about Travis Konecny. He further cemented his chemistry on the top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier (his most common linemates, occurring 27.1% of the time), and was a key supplementary piece to that line. However, while he showed consistency throughout the year, when given his own line he was unable to drive play effectively, and didn’t take the step forward that was perhaps expected of him. This may slightly limit Konecny’s value, but in my opinion, it does not dangerously limit his value. Konecny continued to be one of the Flyers’ best depth scorers. Though he is only 22 and many would agree has more potential to fulfill, Konecny has already proven that he belongs for the long term, especially with his play on the top line.

By The Numbers

Basic Stats

Travis Konecny 2018-19

Games G A Pts PIM SOG Shooting %
Games G A Pts PIM SOG Shooting %
82 24 25 49 40 182 13.2

Konecny posted similar point totals to his 2017-18 campaign, bettering that total by two points. Additionally, four of his points came on the PP2 unit. Unlike two seasons ago when Konecny’s output was streaky, this past season was more consistent. By Dobber Sports’ calculations, Konecny scored 10 points in the first quarter of the season, 13 in the second, 14 in the third, and 12 in the last quarter, averaging 15:16 TOI per game.

5v5 Individual Stats

Travis Konecny 5v5 Individual Stats

Pts/60 Primary pts/60 Shots/60 Expected gls/60
Pts/60 Primary pts/60 Shots/60 Expected gls/60
2.1 1.7 13.79 0.71

5v5 on ice stats

Travis Konecny 5v5 On Ice

Corsi For % Corsi Relative Expected Goals For Expected Goals % Relative Goals For % PDO
Corsi For % Corsi Relative Expected Goals For Expected Goals % Relative Goals For % PDO
49.81 2.16 40.01 -4.31 52 101.42

From an individual standpoint, he doesn’t necessarily drive goals and therefore drive play as a result. Numbers back up Konecny’s inability to drive play and manhandle a line, shown by his sub-50 Corsi-For and more tellingly, by a poor expected goal result. He was only the 9th best skater in this regard (xGF), which is lower than I would’ve expected. His expected goals relative to his teammates is also surprisingly low. I do think, however that this statistic does not tell the full story. Though his 5v5 CF% may not be exceptional, as a secondary scorer on wing, it would not be realistic to expect Konecny’s point output to completely mask his defensive flaws. Konecny is not judged by his ability to prevent goals, but by his ability to score and provide to others, which he does exceptionally well. Don’t get me wrong, this is no excuse for Konecny not to improve defensively, but I think for many, that is not a primary concern for TK.

Three Burning Questions

Did this player live up to our expectations for this season?

I think there was an hope for Konecny to take a step forward last season, and instead he largely just repeated his 2017-18 season. Although, I wouldn’t say he did not live up to reasonable expectations, and he certainly was not disappointing by any account. Konecny was still a very good secondary scorer, and as mentioned before, showed he can hang with the Flyers’ top forwards when on Couturier’s wing. Certainly producing close to a 50-point season is not bad at all for a winger in his age 21 season.

What do we expect from this player next season?

I had written in a previous article that Konecny can project to around 55-60 points, with an increase in point shares from 6.0 to 6.5. I still hold to that projection, and if the Flyers play more like they did in 2017-18 and less like last season, Konecny can almost certainly reach that. He has another year of experience and as such, will be in a better position to score at a better pace, especially if he plays RW with Couturier and Giroux. He can hopefully take a jump from good secondary scorer to become a key piece of the top six.

What would we like to see this player improve on?

Towards the end of last season, we saw a newer aggressive side to Konecny especially in the outdoor game against Pittsburgh. He wasn’t afraid to throw big hits, scrum with opponents, and defend teammates. Though this isn’t necessarily an expectation of Konecny, developing this thorn-in-the-side element to his game would be an added bonus. Ideally we’d see Matthew Tkachuk-type results here, and I think Konecny could certainly use that to his advantage to get under opponents’ skin. It could end up being very useful in the playoffs!

To wrap up

As we know, Konecny is an upcoming RFA, though I am almost 100% certain the Flyers will re-sign him. Evolving Wild’s contract prediction model has Konecny’s deal coming in at 2 years for $3.37 million dollars. It is certainly possible that the Flyers bridge Konency like the model suggests, though if he ends up breaking out next season, then the contract situation could end up looking a bit sticky for the Flyers. I would personally recommend that the Flyers bank on him improving. At least then, they will be able to ride out the rest of the contract instead of needing to sign Konecny to a more expensive deal. Then, if Konecny improves like we are hoping he will, that contract will look very good for the Flyers.

All stats courtesy of Corsica Hockey and Natural Stat Trick

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