As training camp makes way for the (way too long) preseason schedule, we’re beginning to see the massive list of unsigned RFAs start to dwindle. Monday witnessed Travis Konecny and Brock Boeser put pen to ink and thus putting a bow on their team’s respective unsigned lists. These two have been linked since the 2015 draft when they went 23rd and24th overall. I’d like to spend a few moments dissecting their potential for this season.
The 22-year-old witnessed stagnation in his third NHL campaign. He witnessed micro improvements in ice-time (both at even-strength and on the man-advantage), as well as putting a few more shots on goal over the course of the campaign. The ‘biggest’ jump was his recording four power-play markers and eight PPPs as a whole. This was up from the 1+2 he recorded in all of 2017-18.
Konecny was considered a clean breakout candidate heading into last season. He had established himself as a consistent first-line player next to Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. The potential for some top line power-play deployment appeared tangible. And he did, indeed, see some time on that top unit early on. However, the final 20 games of the season wiped away the glowing optimism for 2019-20.
Philly opted to roll Giroux, Couturier and JVR as their top option. The demotion was swift for the former OHL star, as Konecny fell to the bottom six. He remained on the second power-play unit – albeit skating just 66 seconds per game there. Yet he still managed to produce six goal