Back in mid-September, a mini drama brewed as Travis Konecny missed the Flyers’ first three days of training camp. The 22-year-old forward and the team couldn’t come to terms on a new contract for the restricted free agent.
Three and a half months later, Konecny is an NHL All-Star and will represent the Flyers in St. Louis for the Jan. 24-25 festivities.
After signing a six-year, $33 million contract, Konecny has delivered, becoming an integral piece to the Flyers’ turnaround in 2019-20. He leads the team with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) over 36 games in his fourth NHL season as the Flyers have gone 22-12-5 through 39 games thus far.
As Konecny had to wait out the entire offseason for his next deal, he thought a lot about himself as a player.
He was not only ready to come into 2019-20 with a new contract, but also a new mindset.
“I really wanted to do what was best for the team and every single night focus on two points,” he said in November. “Individual stats kind of come with that, when you’re playing an all-around game for the team. I’m not saying I play an all-around game every single night. I try to do my best to help the team. Some nights are better than the others, but I think that’s been my main focus — really trying to give my best effort every night and be able to go home saying that I tried to do my part.”
Now, the 2015 first-round pick is projected to finish with 75 points, a true breakout season after scoring 49 points in 2018-19. The Flyers are 18-5-1 in games that Konecny has recorded a point and 4-4-4 when he has gone scoreless. He has three three-point performances this season after recording two such games over his first three NHL seasons.
"What I see is a young man that has got a lot of energy, wants to learn how to play the right way,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said in September. “It's not just about offense, he wants to defend and he wants to defend well."
Konecny quickly gained trust and responsibility from Vigneault. He has already recorded a career high with 12 power play points and he's three assists away from breaking his personel best of 25 set last season. After back-to-back 24-goal seasons, there's a good chance Konecny tops that mark, as well.
And good thing he picked up his phone on the team's off day Monday. Konecny found out about his first NHL All-Star selection from general manager Chuck Fletcher.
I was laying in bed actually and Chuck called me," Konecny said Monday, via Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "I was going through my mind, like, the options why he could be calling me on the day off, I wasn’t too sure. It was almost one of those ones you were going to let the phone call slide and just kind of see if he texts you so you can get the answer, but I ended up picking up and that’s how I found out.
Last Men In voting begins Jan. 1 at noon for fans. Claude Giroux is the #Flyers' candidate in Metro.— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) December 30, 2019
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