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2020-21 Player Review: A regression in scoring for Travis Konecny

But, he improved in other areas of his game.

New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

If one was expecting Travis Konecny to carry the momentum from the start of his 2020-21 season throughout the year, then you were sadly let down.

We can be forgiven for the optimism given Konecny’s habit to hit the ground running in NHL seasons, and with expectations on the Flyers high last year, it was appearing as if we could have a point-per-game TK on our hands.

However, Konecny’s 2020-21 was streaky, and after his promising start, he went through large stretches of games with zero points. At times he disappeared and was barely noticeable on the ice, from a personal eye-test perspective.

Despite his streakiness, and penchant to go missing from games, 34 points in 50 games doesn’t constitute a bad season, per se. He simply didn’t reach the level he set in 2019-20 when he was nearly a point-per-game player. Regardless, it’s fair to expect more from Konecny given what we know he can do, and to look on the bright side, Konecny’s game in 2020-21 saw improvements to other areas than scoring.

By The Numbers

Basic Stats

Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM SOG S%
Games Played Goals Assists Points PIM SOG S%
50 11 23 34 26 100 11.00%

As was said in the introduction, Konecny disappointed from a raw points perspective. His points-per-game ratio dropped from 0.92 down to 0.68. In fairness to Konecny, he still bettered his 2nd and 3rd season performances. However, for a player who took such a massive step forward in 2019-20, wanting more from Konecny is completely justified.

5v5 On-Ice Stats

CF% CF% Rel GF% xGF% PDO
CF% CF% Rel GF% xGF% PDO
55.26 4.18 48.15 52.21 0.989

Where Konecny did improve is in his ability to drive play at 5-on-5. His Corsi-For percentage was a new career high, and he ranked third on the Flyers in this category (if you remove Morgan Frost and Egor Zamula who only played two games each). What Konecny lacked in point and goal production he made up for in his ability to push play forward for his teammates.

5v5 Individual Stats

Points/60 Primary Points/60 Shots/60 xG/60
Points/60 Primary Points/60 Shots/60 xG/60
1.94 1.21 7.22 0.64

As is expected, Konecny’s points-per-60 minutes total lags behind his previous seasons totals (he averaged 2.23 points-per-60 at 5-on-5 from 2017-18 to 2019-20). Nearly all of his individual advanced stats on a per-60 basis are decreased from previous seasons, which goes to show just how streaky Konecny was in 2020-21.

Three Questions

Did they live up to our expectations?

It is safe to say Konecny did not. When the conversation shifts from “will a forward score at a point-per-game level” to “how did this forward underperform”, then clearly the performances of said player did not reach their expected levels.

Yes, Konecny set the bar high in 2019-20, and he didn’t have the world’s worst season in 2020-21, but we aren’t wrong to expect a talented offensive player to reach that high bar again.

What do we/can we expect next season?

Next season will be crucial for Konecny. If his output reads more like his 2017-18 and 2018-19 numbers do, then we will at least know what to expect from him therein, with 2019-20 being a fluke.

However, to think Konecny could hover around first line production isn’t a crazy thought, and boy would the Flyers love to have a true first line calibre winger on a $5.5 million cap hit for some term. If Konecny can hit 65-70 points in an 82 game season, then that could become a reality.

Personally, I don’t believe Konecny is only a 45-50 point middle six winger. so I would expect Konecny to challenge his 2019-20 season and prove that it wasn’t a fluke.

How would you grade their 2020-21 season?

Konecny gets a B- from myself. It isn’t as if he massively failed, but with what we know about Travis Konecny, he really should be playing better.

All stats via Natural Stat Trick.

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