Flyers

Flyers

Updated: 10:52 p.m.

As the first round of the NHL draft began to wind down Friday night, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall saw an opportunity to move up and grab a top-15 talent and he jumped on it.

The Flyers dealt the first-rounder they acquired from Tampa Bay in the Braydon Coburn trade (29th overall) and the 61st pick of the 2015 NHL draft to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the No. 24 pick in order to select center/right winger Travis Konecny of the Ottawa 67's.

Earlier in the first round, the Flyers snagged Brandon defenseman Ivan Provorov with the No. 7 selection (see story).

Konecny, a right-handed shot, stands at 5-foot-10 and weighs 175 pounds. He was projected to go in the middle of the first round but slipped into the mid-20s, prompting Hextall to part with the Flyers' second first-rounder and lone second-round pick, which they acquired from Chicago in the Kimmo Timonen trade.

The 18-year-old Konency, who finished as the 14th-best North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings, served as captain of the 67's last season and finished second on the club with 68 points (29 goals). In all, he has 138 points in 123 games at the junior level over the past two seasons.

The Clachan, Ontario, native was voted best skater and ranked second for best stickhandler in a poll of the OHL's Eastern Conference coaches for the 2014-15 season, according NHL.com.

 

Though he can play both center or the wing, Hextall said he envisions Konecny playing the right side of the ice.

Konecny has a lightning quick release on his shot and superb playmaking ability. He's active in all three zones, has shown a willingness to grind and absorb contact to make plays and understands how to create offense. His overall game has drawn comparisons to Zach Parise of the Wild and Brendan Gallagher of the Canadiens. 

In terms of an NHL timetable, Konecny is probably still a year or two removed from being able to contribute at the next level. Another season or two in the OHL to work on finding consistency and gaining confidence might be the best route for his development. Because he's under 20 years of age, he's not eligible to play in the AHL next season.

Day 2 of the NHL draft begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Flyers currently have seven picks remaining, beginning with two in the third round.