When you think of a typical Travis Konecny performance, what comes to mind? What you’ve just imagined is probably in line with Konecny’s actual output from 2021-22.
Konecny is an established second-line winger who scores at a top-six pace (reference taken from this Pension Plan Puppets article) in terms of points, with his totals falling between average first-line production for a winger and good second-line production. In terms of goals, he usually stays within these brackets; however, last season was a break from the norm as he scored only 16 goals.
Regardless, taking reference points aside, 2021-22 was Konecny’s second-best season in terms of raw point totals, but his 79 games as a whole still felt uniquely average for the player we know Konecny to be.
It is most interesting to look at Konecny from a goal scoring perspective. He shot the puck more often than he has at any point in his career thus far. He bettered his 182 shots on net (296 overall attempts) in 2018-19, taking 220 shots on target (382 overall attempts). As such, his shooting percentage dipped to the lowest in his career at 7.3%.
Looking at his shot charts tell an interesting story. The first set of maps are from his rookie season to 2021, and the latter set are 2021-22 (maps courtesy of Icydata).
Konecny is shooting from roughly the same places, however, his goals were far less prevalent from areas outside of the immediate slot. To put this into further perspective, 75% of Konecny’s goals last season came from the low to high slot (classified by as far as the circles extend out towards the blue line). This is a similar trend for his entire career, but Konecny saw an 11% decrease in high slot scoring in 2021-22. He shot the puck from that area a roughly similar amount, but was scoring less. Call it bad luck, or just that he was shooting more, but his ability to put the puck in the back of the net took a back seat.
His ability as a playmaker, or at least to be in good situations to pass the puck, was on display as he registered his highest total of 5-on-5 primary assists in his career with 22 (his previous best was 12 in 2018-19). You may think this would lead to Konecny coming off strong in terms of play-driving metrics. However, he just falls below break-even at 5-on-5 at 49.75 CF%.
Yet, considering Konecny is second in Corsi-for percentage when filtering by games played (if we filter by 41+ games played, or half a season, Konecny is second behind Claude Giroux), he comes off more favourably in this light, which makes sense for a team that struggled overall.
Konecny is far from a hindrance to the Flyers, but he is a second-line player true talent wise, and it is best we don’t gain unrealistic expectations for him to exceed this. Konecny is still a great hockey player! Especially for his contract, $5.5M isn’t the worst cap hit for a consistent second line scorer, even if ideally you’d like to be paying slightly less. However, he is far from the cornerstone of the offense, and he likely will not be any time soon.
Stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick