2015 NHL Entry Draft: Travis Konecny Profile And Scouting Report
As the 2015 NHL Draft approaches it is time to have a look at a few prospects who the Dallas Stars could select with the 12th overall pick.
Today's profile is on Travis Konecny, a forward with the OHL's Ottawa 67's.
Travis Konecny, Center / Right Wing, 5-foot-10, 175 Pounds, Shoots Right
Just how important is size in the new NHL?
It's a question that more and more people are starting to ask, and it's easy to see why. The league's crackdown on obstruction has opened pathways on the ice, and with increasing frequency we're seeing more and more small players find success. The emergence of Tyler Johnson and Johnny Gaudreau this season has been, in some ways, groundbreaking.
For prospect Travis Konecny, where he gets picked in the upcoming NHL entry draft will be an interesting case study in how willing organizations are when it comes to embracing this new trend.
In terms of pure skill, Konecny is easily one of the top 10 players in the entire draft class. His point totals don't exactly jump off the computer screen at you, but he was the heart and soul of a dreadful Ottawa 67's team for the last two years with little to no support around him. He was also impressively named the team's captain at the age of 17.
His speed, skating, puck control and passing are all outstanding, and he possesses elite levels of awareness and creativity in the offensive zone. When it comes to effort and determination you won't find many better. His greatest individual attribute, however, is his shot, which he can unleash from almost anywhere in the offensive zone and comes off of his stick with remarkable power and accuracy for a player of his size.
Ah, there's that word again: size. For all the things that Konecny does well, his small stature continues to stand out as an inescapable knock against him. Now, it's not like he's Nathan Gerbe or anything, but at 5'10 and 175 pounds his size is well below average. In an interesting paradox, Konecny is a player that is excellent in tight traffic and is not afraid of getting into the dirty areas of the ice and being physical, things that coaches normally love, but he takes more punishment than his peers when he does this because he's not as big. That sort of fearlessness has already led to a few injuries in his junior career.
Still, when you watch Konecny play it's impossible to not be mesmerized by his talents. To call him a poor man's Tyler Seguin would not be an understatement as the two play nearly identical styles of hockey. If he can utilize his speed to stay elusive and learn the right spots to enter high-traffic areas then he has all the potential needed to develop into a dynamic offensive player at the NHL level.
Konecny is most likely going to be available when the Stars pick at 12th, and would be an excellent choice for the team. The prospect pool is thinnest at right wing and center, both of which he can play, and he would have no trouble keeping pace with the other fast players in the system.
A skilled forward who is a threat in all three zones…has great speed and quickness with tremendous feet and balance on his edges; great agility…very flashy with the puck, but smart…able to create space for himself with his quickness and his vision…impressive puck-distributing skills…moves the puck very well and is constantly able to set up his linemates with excellent chances…possesses a hard shot with a deceptive release…effort level is terrific each shift as he is a hard worker and high-compete player…hits, battles and plays hard defensively; always involved…fun player to watch and is already one of the OHL’s most dangerous scorers.
The first overall pick in the 2013 OHL Draft, Konecny was the captain of Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka, and his five goals and six points in five games were key to Canada’s Gold Medal win. He’s carried some of that momentum into the OHL season where he has put up 21 goals and 48 points in 46 games for the 67s, another club where he is the captain. He is a cousin of Bo Horvat, a recent top 10 NHL pick by the Vancouver Canucks. Konecny has excellent speed, and tremendous acceleration. He utilizes it both on the rush, and to be a cannonball on the forecheck. He’s not afraid to grind in the corners, work in the cycle game, or get to the front of the net. Add to this great vision and passing ability and Konecny is the type of player who can make his linemates better. He also has a strong wrist shot and a good release. Its not something he can control, but growing an extra inch or two this season could help him go higher in the draft.