by Eldon MacDonald (edited by @ChrisRalphTHW)
NHL Draft War Room: Travis Konecny
Ranked #14 – 2015 War Room Final Rankings
- Hashtag: #TheProfessional
- Team: #17, Ottawa, OHL
- Position: Right Wing
- Shoots: Right
- Height: 5’10
- Weight: 175 lb.
- Born: Clachan, ON, 11-Mar-97
- Twitter: @traviskonecny
- 11 – FC – Top 30, Final
- 12 – THW The Next Ones – Christopher Ralph, Top 120, Final
- 12 – ISS – Top 30, Final
- 14 – McKeens – Top 30, Final
- 15 – NHL Combined – Top 305, Final
- 15 – TSN – Bob McKenzie’s Poll of NHL Scouts, Top 75, Final
- 33 – TSN – Craig Button, Top 100, Final
THW’s Draft War Room – Travis Konecny, “The Professional”
Eldon MacDonald, THW: A few words on Travis Konecny:
The Professional: Travis Konecny is the consummate professional. He had a tough year. In started out great as he won a gold medal as captain for Team Canada at the summertime Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He was then named captain of the Ottawa 67s Then it all started going downhill. Injuries led to a start of the season that was not up to his standards. But he didn’t let the poor start overwhelm him. He worked with his coaches; he worked with his teammates; he watched videos and it all came back. By the time of the BMO NHL/CHL Top Prospects, he was all the way back earning player of the game for Team Orr with a dominant performance – a 200 ft. dominant performance – skating, passing, shooting, hitting, forechecking, backchecking. He has the compete level, the outstanding skills, the ability to deal with adversity, the willingness to do what it takes to get better and the leadership qualities that NHL teams covet in a prospect. In short, he has what it takes to be successful in the NHL.
Five Reasons Why Travis Konecny Should Be Selected in the Top 15 of the 2015 NHL Draft
- Explosiveness: Ontario Coaches Poll – Eastern Confererence: Best Skater. Yes, he’s fast, real fast.
- Go to the Net Mentality: He has that Brendan Gallagher go to the net at all costs
- Compete level: He can make a hit, take a hit, hound you, cycle you to death, get under your skin and make you take a penalty, and do all this at a maximum energy level.
- 200 Ft. Game: He plays hard, competes, exemplifies the work ethic all over the ice.
- Leadership: Captain of Team Canada (Gold Medal winner of the Ivan Hlinka Tournament), Captain of the OHL Ottawa 67’s. His teammates feed off of his compete level.
- Skating: The starting blocks, the gears, the passing gear, the change of speeds, and the agility – all there. Combine all of that with a low centre of gravity and you have a very high-end skater.
- Passing: Terrific, backhand and forehand, always looking for the open man but is equally adept at shooting.
- Shooting: Hard shot, finger-trigger pro release, can finish.
- Stickhandling: Has the hands, the skating, the low centre of gravity to take it to the net, shoot or dish off with the best of them.
- Vision and creativity: Able to read the opposition’s D and then make creative plays, all at high speed.
Defense: Travis competes hard in all zones, back-checking, fore-checking, hitting, hounding the puck carrier – just what a coach likes to see. The technical aspects of his defensive game still need refining but they will come as he matures.
Awards and Achievements:
- 2011-12: Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario Player of the Year – Elgin Middlesex Chi. Minor Midget AAA
- 2013-14: Number 1 Selection in OHL Draft – Ottawa 67’s
- 2013-14: OHL Rookie of the Year (Emms Family Award) and First Team All-Rookie Centre
- 2013-14: Bronze medal – WJC U18s – Team Canada
- 2014-15: Captain – Team Canada – Gold Medal Winner of the Ivan Hlinka Tournament
- 2014-15: Captain – Ottawa 67s
- 2014-15: Player of Game – Team Orr – BMO NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game
- 2014-15: Best Skater – Eastern Conference of OHL – OHL Coaches Poll
— Kathryn Jean (@msconduct) June 7, 2015
Improvements to make: The three improvements I would like Travis to focus on to up his game even more are:
- Strength – Even though his strength is good for his size right now, Travis needs to add more weight and the strength to go with it to compete effectively at the NHL level.
- Change of Pace – Travis plays the game like a rocket booster on a moon shot – all out explosiveness and compete. He would up his repertoire and improve his game and be able to better utilize his teammates if he were to throw more changes of pace into his game – waiting for the game to come to him as opposed to forcing the play all the time.
- Defense – Travis already competes and competes hard over the 200 feet. His defensive success is primarily attributable to his compete, speed-level and overall hard work. His current success could be improved by more devotion to learning the technical aspects of defense – positioning, gap control.
NHL Projection: Travis Konecny brings together the physical side of the Brandan Gallagher go the net, get in their faces style with the skill side of the Phil Kessel scoring winger – shooting, skating, stickhandling, vision. The downside of this approach is that Travis has been injury prone this season. I do think he has that pro level dedication that will make him an NHL player, a top six winger with the potential to play on the top line.
Draft placement: Bob Mackenzie’s TSN final rankings has Travis at 15th; I have him at 14th. Twenty-five teams interviewed him at the NHL Combine. Normally, smaller players such as Travis are the players likely to be drafted below their ranking level. However, the combination of leadership, high-end skill, big-game results and all out compete and energy are likely to put Travis firmly in the 12-20 range.
Looking deeper into the #s shows Travis Konecny faced the toughest competition against in the OHL amongst top forwards CM, DS, MM, PZ, LC.
— DraftBuzz Hockey (@draftbuzzhockey) June 10, 2015
- Quote 1: NHL.com – Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting Director, “There was a big discussion about Konecny at the midterm meetings. And not unlike other players, he got off to a slow start after an [undisclosed] injury impacted his overall play. We wanted to wait and see him in the second half and find out if the real Konecny was going to surface again and he did. There was always a belief in him, and he was one of the better under-18 players in the summer playing against the best in the world at the Ivan Hlinka. Usually the best players there end up being the best players in the NHL.”
- Quote 2: OHLprospects.Blogspot.ca – Dan Stewart, Director of Scouting for Future Considerations, “A super-driven kid who plays with high levels of skill and intensity. He is an on-ice leader and an elite level skater who uses strong offensive instincts, creative puck skills, a quick shot release and even reckless physical play to take over games. I absolutely love his all-round play and he is a guy I would love to have on my team. Problem is his durability due to his style of reckless play as we have seen over his short OHL career, will it translate to the NHL level or will he be destined to become an injury prone pro? I would bet he becomes a solid NHL pro as he learns to pick his spots better.”
- Quote 3: Yahoo! Sports Canada – Jeff Brown, Coach of the Ottawa 67s, “It’s his engine, it’s incredible — the kid never stops. He has no mirrors in his house. He has no idea how small he is because he competes so hard against everybody, doesn’t matter the size. His shot, his character, obviously his leadership in the locker room, he’s going to be a pro, it’s that simple. He does the little things like a pro and trains like a pro.”
- Quote 4: NHL.com – Chris Edwards, NHL Central Scouting, “He’s a highly skilled forward who never quits. He skates very well, has excellent speed, is not afraid to get involved in battles and has no fear of taking the puck to the net.”
- Quote 5: Ottawa Sun – Darren Kelly, Travis Konecny’s Coach in the Elgin-Middlesex Program, “When he was 10, we were in the Ontario finals in Oakville, and we were down 2-0 to the Toronto Marlies going into the third period, Travis came out and scored four goals and an t and we won 5-2. He was named the tournament MVP, and from that point on, his name was kind of on the radar.”
- Interview 1: Yahoo! Sports Canada – Neate Sager – 07-Apr-15
- Interview 2: Ottawa 67s.com – Dante Salituro (Video)
- Profile 1: NHL.com – Mike G. Morreale – 11-Jun-15
- Profile 2: Die by the Blade.com – Jake Goods – 03-Jun-15
- Profile 3: The Hockey Writers.com – Carl Maloney – 11-May-15
- Profile 4: Last Word on Sports – Ben Kerr – 13-Apr-15
— CBJ Prospects (@CBJProspects) June 2, 2015
- Video 1: 2015 Playoff Highlights – The Draft Analyst
- Video 2: Prospect Profile – Sportsnet.ca
- Video 3: Highlights – The Hockey Vidz
- Video 4: Learning to be a Leader – Sportsnet.ca
- Video 5: 2013-14 OHL Highlights – Big White 06
- Video 6: The Dream Begins – Ottawa 67’s Hockey
Chris is THW’s senior draft/prospect analyst and a Managing Editor. Watch for “The Next Ones” Prospect Profile series, exclusive rankings, mock drafts, as well as the annual THW NHL Entry Draft Guide. Follow @ChrisRalphYQ on Twitter as he infiltrates, dissects and analyzes all happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft. Email: cralph[at]thehockeywriters[dot]com