2022-23 Flyers Player Profile: Travis Konecny

Apr 9, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Travis Konecny (11) against the Anaheim Ducks at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Travis Konecny (11) against the Anaheim Ducks at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Travis Konecny is one of the guys that this Flyers team needs to build itself around. Along with teammate Sean Couturier, he is someone that this team should count on to be a major contributor to the team’s future. The one time all-star had everything any team could want. And yet…..there is something lurking under the surface that makes us uneasy. Have we seen the best from the 25 year old or is the best yet to come?

Konecny was selected 24th overall in the 2015 draft. It was the same draft that the Flyers had selected Ivan Provorov seventh overall. And like Provy, TK would make his debut in 2016-17. He had a solid rookie season, scoring 11 goals with 17 assists as he was juggled around by then coach Dave Hakstol. He seemed to find his groove when paired up with Claude Giroux and Michael Raffl on the top line.

The next season, Konecny broke out. He scored 24 goals, the first of three consecutive years hitting that mark. In 2019-20, he was named the Flyers’ representative to the NHL All-Star Game and would notch three assists in the game.  That year, the final of his 24 goals streak seasons, he would tie his career high in 66 games as the COVID pandemic shut the season down early. His 37 assists that year were also a career high.

Then the playoffs happened. In the bubble, the Flyers were expected to go far. And while he tallied seven assists in 16 games, he did not find the back of the net. He was then publicly criticized by Alain Vigneault for “disappearing” during the postseason. While Vigneault said the same thing about some of the other stars, like Giroux, It really seemed to bother Konecny. Maybe Vigneault still held a little bit of a grudge against him from when he sat out during training camp looking for a long term contract; a six year $33 million deal that has three more years on it.

After the 2020 playoffs, you could’ve put his face on a milk carton and list him as missing. He hasn’t been the same player since. He’s scored 27 goals total in the last two seasons. He’s been benched by Vigneault…oh, I mean “scratched”…for undisclosed reasons. Maybe he was hiding an injury he didn’t want to disclose, as players tend to do.

Whatever happened between Vigneault and Konecny has never been publicly revealed, and it is probably best that it doesn’t see the light of day. It would appear that Konecny was one of many players who had a problem with their former coach. And when Vigneault was dismissed, Konecny started to produce again. He finished last season with 16 goals, but a career high 36 assists and his second highest career total of 52 points.

Which brings me to a concern I have. Konecny didn’t gel with Vigneault and it hurt his performance on the ice. Whether it was laziness or a bruised ego, we’ll never know. But his play suffered and the stat sheets prove that.

New coach John Tortorella is also kind of a prickly personality. Will Konecny jive with Torts? Konecny is one of two Flyers, the other being JVR, that I am concerned with this. If he can buy into Tortorella’s program, I think Konecny will have a huge bounce back season. It is not unreasonable that he can and will post career highs in goals and assists. TK could be the guy that Torts builds the offense around.

Related Story. Flyers Player Profile: JVR. light

Konecny can be the sort of guy that Torts LOVES to have. He is a chirper; recognized as one of the best in the game. Despite his season, he is not afraid to lay out a hit or get into a scrap. He plays a lot more physically than he probably should, but has speed to boot. He has all the tools that an effective offensive player should have.

But again, his progress was stunted by Vigneault. How much of it was Vigneault and how much was Konecny, I’m not sure. If the Flyers are to have ANY success in the years to come, Konecny needs to find his golden scoring touch again. If he fails to do so or draws the ire of Torts, he could very well find himself out of Philly.