VOORHEES, N.J. — Joel Embiid would have been proud of Travis Konecny.
The Flyers' 22-year-old dynamo was back in town Tuesday and wanted everyone to know this is where he wanted to be. Despite a little bit of drama swirling around the unknown as he missed the first three days of 2019 training camp, Konecny is now here and will be for the next six years after signing a $33 million contract Monday.
He didn't like being away.
"It was stressful because you want to be back with the guys, getting ready with them," Konecny said.
"You want to be there with them. You want to go through the process — training camp, all the ups and downs, the hard stuff — you want to be there with everybody."
How did he ease the stress?
"I guess it's part of it, it's part of the process, so I just had to trust it," Konecny said. "Thankfully, we're here right now and it wasn't too long and I'm just thankful for that."
The Sixers' 7-foot-2 superstar would approve.
He also would approve of Konecny's desire to be in Philly long term. Konecny and his camp were eyeing a lengthier deal as opposed to a bridge contract in which the winger could have proven himself even more and potentially landed a bigger payday around the age of 24 or 25. Konecny wanted more years in Philadelphia.
You guys have all been around here and you know what the team is all about. Our goal is to bring a championship back and I want to be a part of that, I want to be a part of Philly. To be locked in for six years and have a chance to play with this organization is an honor and I'm just really happy we could get it done.
Konecny took part in his first practice Tuesday. The team plays preseason games Tuesday and Thursday night. Head coach Alain Vigneault said the Flyers are shooting for Konecny to make his preseason debut Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
"He's going to skate [Wednesday] with our skills coach," Vigneault said. "He's got video sessions planned as far as catching up to what he's missed. That will permit him to practice on Thursday, practice on Friday and in theory it should be the same amount of time."
Vigneault and the Flyers were excited to see Konecny. The 2015 first-round pick has the potential to be a 30-goal guy. His role will continue to grow in his fourth NHL season and his presence bolsters the Flyers' depth at forward. The team's third line could feature Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick (when healthy) and possibly a prospect like Joel Farabee. The 23-year-old Lindblom scored 17 goals last season as a rookie, the 20-year-old Patrick was the 2017 second overall pick and the 19-year-old Farabee has many buzzing.
"Happy to see him, he's happy to be here," Vigneault said of Konecny's return. "In talking to him briefly, I know he wanted to be here, just an issue sometimes. But he's here, we're happy to have him. Now let's get to work and get caught up here."
Konecny undoubtedly makes the Flyers deeper and more dangerous for Oct. 4 in Prague, Czech Republic.
"I'll be ready," he said. "I didn't miss too much time, I did a lot of work on my own when I wasn't here. I think we've got a great group here that's going to pick everybody up. They're helping me a lot and just going to make sure we're ready for when the puck drops."
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