Travis Konecny had a breakout season for the Flyers. But how did it rank among players he was drafted with?
The Flyers drafted Travis Konecny with the 24th overall pick in the first round. It was their second pick, after drafting Ivan Provorov seventh overall. The team traded their 29th overall and 61st pick with the Toronto Maple Leafs to draft Konecny. They saw something in Konecny and clearly thought he would be gone before their pick.
Konecny was highly rated coming into the draft as most expected him to be gone by the 15th pick. Future Considerations had him ranked as the 11th best player in the draft. ISS Hockey ranked him 12th. Both McKeen’s Hockey and NHL Central Scouting had him 14th. Bob McKenzie ranked Konecny 15th. And lastly, HockeyProspect.com ranked him 19th.
So Konecny dropped quite a bit based on where he was initially ranked coming in. Two years prior, he was the first overall pick for the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL’s draft. He was also drafted in the KHL in 2014, but obviously, he never went to play there.
Looking at Konecny’s draft class, he ranks eighth among the group in career points. His 185 points beat out six of the top 10 in the draft. Three of those players are defensemen, while one is teammate Provorov. Only one player taken after him has more points and that’s Sebastian Aho.
But this isn’t about his career overall. We want to take a look at how Konecny’s career season ranked among those players he was drafted with. For fairness’ sake, we’ll take a look at players drafted near him. Comparing him to Connor McDavid is out of the question.
This was Konecny’s fourth season in the NHL. The progress had seemed to stall a bit as he had finished with 24 goals in back to back seasons. His point total the last two seasons hovered just below the 50-point mark. And while he may end up finishing with 24 goals again this season, the team still had 13 games to go. Barring an incredible cold stretch, Konecny would’ve recorded a new career-high in goals as well.
He started the season hot, scoring twice in the Flyers’ season-opening victory. He would go on to register at least one point in 14 of 17 games to start the year. The consistency was there as he never went more than three games without a point.
Konecny may never get a chance to see if he could’ve reached the 30-goal mark this season. While the NHL wants to complete the regular season, it may not be a plausible solution. But that doesn’t take away from what Konecny was able to accomplish this season.
Looking at who was drafted near Konecny, we can start with the players drafted just before and after him. That leads us to Brock Boeser and Jack Roslovic. All three players were considered to be in their fourth NHL season.
Boeser was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks with the 23rd pick. He was rated much lower than Konecny, though the same site that ranked him 19th, ranked Boeser 18th. Nonetheless, this was quite a jump for Boeser in terms of the rankings. He didn’t jump into the NHL right away, though.
After his draft, Boeser played two seasons at the University of North Dakota before making his NHL debut in 2016-17. Konecny made his debut that season as well, though he had the advantage in games played. Boeser impressed during his nine games, registering four goals and an assist.
Now in his fourth season, the numbers have dipped a bit from his previous years. Injuries have been an issue for Boeser has he hasn’t played more than 69 games during his career. He was limited to 57 this season, still grabbing 45 points. He suffered a rib cartilage fracture in February.
Boeser did return for the final game before the pause. The scoring dropped tremendously this season, though he was shooting the puck more than he had before. It was his playmaking skills that continued to shine as his 29 assists were just below the career-high he set last season. And that was in 12 fewer games.
He drove play well as a part of the team’s top line and led the group in power-play time per game. His 52.43 CF% was sixth on the team according to Natural Stat Trick, fifth if you take away Sven Baertschi‘s six games played. The drop in scoring was disappointing and his shooting percentage has dropped dramatically in the last three seasons. It’s possible his recent injuries have played a role in that. It is also possible a change in his role could help Boeser out.
Roslovic was drafted by the Winnipeg with the 25th pick. It’s been a slower journey to the NHL for him. He was ranked similarly to Boeser, though his highest ranking was 24th. While he did make his debut in 2016-17, it was only for one game before he was sent to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.
He would split time in 2017-18 between the NHL and AHL before becoming an official part of the team last season. But his inconsistency has been a huge factor in his deployment. He has been moved up and down the lineup throughout the season. At times, he would show off his skill and speed before it would end up disappearing for stretches at a time.
There were multiple stretches during the season where Roslovic would go five games without a point. He failed to register a goal in his last 11 games, only grabbing four total points. The ice time fluctuated from anywhere between 19 minutes to 12 minutes a game during the season.
He did appear in more games than Konecny this season but came nowhere close to him in any statistic. It’s possible Roslovic’s ceiling is that of a depth player who can chip in from time to time. Whether that is at his natural center position or on the wing, a place he has spent much time at this season.
Roslovic is still young, coming in at 23-years-old. The Jets could ink him to a bridge deal as sort of a prove-it contract.
Just for fun, we were going to take a look at the player who was drafted 29th overall, which is where the Flyers were originally scheduled to pick. The Blue Jackets ended up with the pick, trading their 34th and 68th picks to the Leafs. They drafted Gabriel Carlsson who was the #2 ranked European skater. We can’t judge him yet, however. Carlsson has only played 23 games in the NHL thus far.
So out of the players above, it is clear that Konecny had the best season of the three. He also finished with more points than Timo Meier, Pavel Zacha and Dylan Strome. Those were some of the players drafted in the top 10 in 2015.