Considered a core member of the Philadelphia Flyers‘ lineup of the future, forward Travis Konecny needs to step up his game following a disappointing season. Overall, the Flyers roster performed poorly in 2021-22, but he stood out because of higher expectations to be a productive forward. Following the 2019-20 campaign, he was believed to be one of the best young forwards in the league after scoring 24 goals in three straight seasons.
“I’m the first to say it, I know that I can be better. For me, my season’s unacceptable, and I want to come back better next year and try to help more,” Konecny said during his end-of-season press conference. “It’s a good group when everyone’s taking accountability, and we know what we need to do individually and come together as a team and do the right things.”
“It’s also a good learning lesson for some, even me, a young guy still on a team. I want to be a playoff team. I want to be a playoff player and learn how to win games and take what we can from it.”
Heading into next season, he will have major expectations to perform, or the organization will likely look to move him before the deadline. He has the skill to be a top-end forward, but only if he puts in the work to get better.
Diving Deeper into Konecny’s 2021-22 Season
Following his sixth season with the Flyers, Konecny, a three-time 24-goal scorer, again failed to score more than 20 goals for the second campaign in a row. In 79 games, he put up only 52 points (16 goals and 36 assists) and a minus-23 rating.
Konecny’s lack of production is directly linked to the team failing to make the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 1992-93 and 1993-94. Between his style of play and energy on the ice, he has provided a spark to the lineup that was not there before, but he was unable to put the puck in the back of the net, especially during crucial moments. The last two years were certainly not what fans expected after the first few years of his career.
“It’s just ups and downs, I think,” Konecny said. “It’s not what we’ve all hoped for, but there’s been plenty of teams that have dipped for a few years, and then they’re contenders and great playoff teams for years to come. Be patient. We’re coming.”
Despite the negatives, he finished as the Flyers’ leading scorer this season, as odd as that sounds. Following Claude Giroux’s departure at the deadline, he quickly jumped into the lead. Not to take away from his accomplishment, but that also means no other player on the roster scored more than 52 points. The lackluster style of play from the whole team lasted all season, so it was difficult to get things going right from the jump. Major work has to be done this offseason if the team wants to be better in 2022-23.
Heading into Next Season
Next season will be one of the most important seasons of Konecny’s career. Not only will expectations be high for the organization to return to the playoffs, but he will also be under a microscope. Fans are already hot on his tail for the last two seasons, and next year will be no different.
He did start to make adjustments to improve his game toward the end of the season, but it was a little too late. He put in more work off the ice to become a more well-rounded player, and in the final 10 games, he had more of a jump to his game (from “Philadelphia Flyers 2021-22 season review: Travis Konecny,’ The Athletic, 5/26/22).
“I did some work with Danny (Briere) and (director of hockey analytics) Ian (Anderson) in the office, just looking over some analytics stuff, which usually I never paid attention to those types of things,” he said. “I don’t know if there were 10 games left, I just started to kinda feel like maybe I was in more scoring positions. It’s interesting stuff, so when I took a look at it, it kind of made sense to me. Where I had gotten away from certain things in the past and where I was now. Hopefully, moving forward into the summer, I can try to get my head in the right spot for what I need to do to get back to where I was.”
While the boost to his game came too late for the team to do anything, it’s a good sign that he tried to improve. Konecny is a huge part of the Flyers’ success, and he will need to prove that next season. Without Giroux, he needs to be the player who steps up and makes a difference on and off the ice.
Bobby Bader Jr. is a freelance journalist born and raised in Philadelphia, PA covering the Philadelphia Flyers for The Hockey Writers since the start of the 2020-21 National Hockey League Season. He currently works with the Hershey Cubs Hockey Club (USPHL Premier) as the team’s media coordinator and serves as the Assistant Sports Information Director at Penn State Harrisburg. For interview requests or to provide content info, follow Bobby on Twitter or his social media accounts. They appear under his photo in articles like this one.