2021-22 Team: Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
Date of Birth: Feb. 22, 2004
Place of Birth: Newmarket, ON, CAN
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 170 pounds
Position: Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 85th (amongst NA skaters)
- McKeen’s Hockey: 190th
- Draft Prospects Hockey:108th
The Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Sudbury Wolves are getting a great return on having drafted Evan Konyen in the fourth round of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. The right winger put up 16 goals and 50 points in 66 games during his freshman year.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Konyen can bring offense. He’s great when entering the zone as he can either carry it in himself to start possession or find teammates to pass to, as he’s able to keep his head up while skating in transition. He has pretty good speed, and those entries go toward his puck-handling ability as well. He’s got great hand-eye and puck control, which can help further offensive possessions.
One of his best attributes is his shot. He has decent power and a quick release on his wrist shot and can be a dangerous one-timer option, especially on the power play and below the circle. When he has time and space, he can pick corners confidently. His motor is always running, and he’ll look for areas to get into to set up scoring chances when without the puck.
He has struggled at times defensively, but that’s due in part to his team being on the younger end, and he’s given a lot of that defensive responsibility. That’s a pretty good sign this early. One thing that he can look to improve on is how he can be a sort of secondary offensive piece on his line at times. He can be a finishing option due to his shot, but isn’t necessarily the offense’s catalyst.
Additionally, his playmaking ability is average at the OHL level, and he could look to add a bit more creativity to his game. The more he can create offense, the more his teammates will benefit as a result. Another thing that may have held him off from a higher ranking is his size as he’s a bit smaller at 5-foot-10.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Evan Konyen – NHL Draft Projection
Konyen has some things to work on, but his shot and upside could see him taken around the middle of the draft. If a team really likes him and sees his upside, he could go in the late third or early fourth round. However, I think that a safe bet would probably be the fourth round or fifth round, but I’m leaning toward the mid-fourth round.
Continuing his development with the Wolves as the team gets older and improves could lead to an even more increased role and maybe even a quicker development. He was listed as a C-prospect on the NHL Central Scouting 21-22 Preliminary Players To Watch List, which projects a prospect to be a fourth, fifth, or sixth-round candidate.
“I feel like I’m a super offensive player. I love scoring goals and helping the team win… I like to model my game after a little bit of Auston Matthews and (David) Pastrnak. Just how they find open areas and they know how to score from everywhere on the ice.” -Konyen in an interview from the Sudbury Wolves website.
“Konyen got off to a very strong start this season but COVID-19 cancellations slowed the process for him and others on the Wolves. Not to mention the unbalanced schedule had a huge effect on them… Coming out of the 2020 Priority Selection, it was widely believed that the Wolves got a steal of a pick getting Konyen in the fourth round. Tabbed as a speedy goal scoring winger who could also play down the middle, I don’t think he reached the level I expected of him, and that might be due to what I mentioned above… As a natural goal scorer who has shown more than enough ability, Konyen is worth a serious look by an NHL team in and around the middle of the fourth round.” –Dominic Tiano, OHL Writers
“Konyen is an offensive-minded forward who specializes in finding soft areas of ice to make himself available as a shooting threat… At this time, I view Konyen as a potential depth scorer at the pro level but will need to round out his all-around game and add more creativity to his offensive game to make it as an NHLer, and in turn, I would view him as a candidate for the late rounds of the 2022 draft.” -Brandon Holmes, (from ‘May 10, 2022 Evan Konyen Scouting Report,’ FC Hockey, May 10, 2022)
- Wrist shot and one-timer
- Zone entries
- Trusted with defensive responsibility on a younger team
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Being his line’s catalyst
This can depend on how well he develops at the OHL level, and how it transfers to the professional level because I don’t think he’d just walk onto an NHL roster by the time he makes the jump to pro. He can be compared to another younger forward, though this player has four inches on him: Los Angeles Kings winger Arthur Kaliyev, drafted 33rd overall in 2019.
Kaliyev just completed his first full NHL season and scored 14 goals in 80 games at 20 years old. He has an elite shot and skating ability, and over time has improved his defensive game. In the OHL during his time with the Hamilton Bulldogs, he never scored fewer than 31 regular season goals, posting 31, then 51, then 44 in consecutive years.
Konyen had 16 goals on 134 shots, an 11.9 shooting percentage. He has the shot, now’s the time to start finishing. Five of his goals were power-play goals and two game-winning goals. Those numbers should be on the rise. He could become a good middle-six scoring option at the NHL level, with some primary power-play time, and if things go well he could see some secondary penalty-killing time.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7.5/10, Defense – 6/10
Konyen was drafted first in the fourth round, 71st overall in the OHL Priority Selection by the Sudbury Wolves in 2020, and then in the sixth round, 92nd overall in the United States Hockey League (USHL) Entry Draft in 2021.
Evan Konyen Draft Day Interview from the Sudbury Wolves website.
Evan Konyen Statistics
Sean Raggio lives for hockey. He will be covering the Seattle Kraken, and is a co-host of “What’s Kraken” for THW. Sean gained experience in writing for television, print and radio while studying journalism at Quinnipiac University and being an active member in the student media organizations there. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out on Twitter! A link can be found at the bottom of his articles, such as this one.