Travis Konecny began the 2018-19 campaign with only one point in the first five games, and his start wasn’t from a lack of effort or skill, either. He simply couldn’t buy a goal.
His luck seems to have changed.
He’s recorded four points in the last three games, including a two-point night against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. Konecny has been able to brush the weight of not producing numbers off his shoulders, and his work ethic is the reason for the turning tide.
Last season, the then-20-year-old started slowly as well. He recorded three points in the first nine games, but the sophomore slump didn’t affect Konecny as the year progressed. His 44 points in the remaining 71 games was good for fifth on the Philadelphia Flyers.
It didn’t help that Konecny started last season on a line with Dale Weise and Nolan Patrick, who struggled in the early stages. After being moved to the top line alongside Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, he started producing.
Konecny has lined up with Oskar Lindblom and Jordan Weal, and the trio has been producing great possession numbers in the young season. The goals have started coming for Konecny, and Dave Hakstol’s decision to place him on a young and speedy line is working out.
On the ice, Konecny has been impressive. Even when he wasn’t scoring, he hit the post multiple times. He’s scored in the past two games while being in the midst of a three-game point streak. Against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, he wristed a shot from the right circle over Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid to tie the game at one in the first period on a power play. He was successfully fending off the puck in the right corner of the Devils’ zone, a location he made his home throughout the day. It was an impressive display by a player with lots of potential, and a good day for the Flyers’ second power play unit that has struggled in recent seasons.
Konecny has been compared to Claude Giroux since he was a rookie. They were selected in almost the same spot in the Draft and have have similar skillsets. Konecny’s growth over the course of his career is similar to Giroux’s in an astounding way. In Konecny’s second season, he recorded 47 points in 81 games.
Giroux recorded 47 points in 82 games during his second season.
Giroux’s point total grew to 76 in 2010-11 before his 93-point explosion in 2011-12. Konecny could very well be on his way to matching Giroux.
At this point, it’s just a matter of whether or not he is unlucky.
Photo: Irish Haines
I am the Sports Director at WHIP Radio. I am also the Media Director of the Temple University Ice Hockey Club, Broadcast/Media Relations Assistant of the Reading Royals, and a writer for Klein College.