And with that pick, the Flyers selected Travis Konecny, a forward from the Ottawa 67s of the OHL.
Konecny is a hard prospect not to like. He plays the game the right way and is a very well rounded player. At the beginning of the year, he struggled to find his game, and seemed to be putting too much pressure on himself. His speed is electric, but the creativity was being stifled because he was forcing plays that weren't there. Towards the New Year (including a fantastic showing at the CHL Top Prospect's Game), the light really seemed to turn on for him. He's at his best using his speed in short bursts offensively, dictating pace by stopping and starting quickly. He's also at his best when he's engaging physically, throwing big hits and agitating on the forecheck. Konecny also possesses a fantastic wrist shot with a pro calibre release. As the captain of the 67's, it goes without saying that his leadership qualities are also significant. I think that, really, the only strike against Konecny is size. At 5'10, Konecny plays a much larger game (and needs to play that way to be successful). And he's run into some injury issues, including a shoulder injury that kept him out late in the year and in the playoffs. So there are durability questions. In a lot of ways, it resembles Robby Fabbri's situation last year. Come draft day, watching where Konecny goes is one of the things I'm most curious about.
Konecny was seen by a lot of folks as a mid-to-late lottery pick -- he went at No. 13 to Los Angeles in the SB Nation mock draft, and we had him at No. 14 on our community big board -- so for the Flyers to get him at No. 24 is some excellent value. He put up 68 points (29 goals and 39 assists) in 60 games for Ottawa this past year. He's a smaller player at 5'10", but as the report above indicates, he's a guy who plays a style well above that size, and he combines that high-motor style with high-end skill to go with it.
He mostly played center for Ottawa this year, but Ron Hextall said in media availability following the pick that the team sees him as more of a winger than a center. In any case, for those hoping the Flyers would add to their forward group of prospects with their later first-round pick after getting Provorov, this is about as good an outcome as they could've hoped for.
The Flyers have added two guys seen as lottery-level talents in one of the deepest drafts in a long time tonight. Not a bad evening for Ron Hextall and Co.