Konecny Is Better Than His Stats

Travis Konecny’s burst onto the scene in training camp this fall was no fluke. Despite so-so point totals from the ultra-talented 19-year old, Konecny is actually playing some pretty good hockey. Fans and media alike tend to overvalue the box scores, point totals and statistics when it comes to the overall success that a hockey player is having. In Travis’ case, he’s doing just fine. In fact, if he continues the way he’s been playing over the last month the points are bound to start coming in bunches.

Travis the Great

Travis Konecny Philadelphia Flyers
Konecny provides the Flyers with great skill to the forward depth as a rookie. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Flyers knew they had a special player when they traded up five spots in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft to select Konecny. Teams were afraid that his size would ultimately be an issue once he reached the pros, leading teams to select bigger, but perhaps, less talented players over him in the first round.

Deemed as a top-10 to top-12 player in that years’ draft class, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall wasted no time when he saw him getting closer to the Flyers’ 29th pick and chose to jump up and swap picks with the Maple Leafs along with a second rounder to get his hands on Konecny at 24.

The biggest thing with Konecny at the moment has been a lack of goals. The good thing is that it’s not because of a lack of scoring chances. The bottom line is the luck part of hockey just hasn’t been on the youngster’s side the last month or so, where a bounce here or a bounce there could have led him to score goals in flurries.

Going Beyond the Stats

The truth of the matter is, points are extremely hard to come by in today’s NHL. Even the best of the best only top out at a point-per-game average these days come season’s end. When we factor in that Konecny isn’t playing top-line minutes, top-line power play or even the top lines when games go to 4-on-4 and 4-on-3 action because the 19-year-old secedes those minutes to Flyers veterans, he’s about right where he should be points-wise.

So, when we step back and look at the bigger picture, the cause for Konecny’s concern is foolish. There’s no rookie wall that he’s hitting — there’s no slump. In fact, he’s playing pretty well for such a young player in today’s game. The goals will come, and more importantly, the points will come. All it takes is that once bounce for a hockey player and everything begins to turn. Look for Konecny to continue to play well and perhaps have a huge breakout in the points column come the second half of his rookie season.

With this type of skill, it’s only a matter of time for the youngster.