Another RFA is in the books, as the Philadelphia Flyers agreed to terms with winger Travis Konecny just as training camp begins. Konecny signed a six-year deal worth an average annual value of $5.5 million, which is good value for a player who set a career-high with 49 points last season.
The hope, of course, is that Konecny is far from his offensive ceiling. A scrappy and talented player who plays bigger than his 5-foot-10, 178-pound frame, Konecny saw second-unit power play time last season and 15:16 of ice time total per game, the latter of which ranked sixth on the team. He has been a scorer since back in his minor hockey days with the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs (where he was teammates with Lawson Crouse) and put up great numbers in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s and Sarnia Sting.
So far with the Flyers, Konecny has put up decent numbers, but has largely been overshadowed by the veterans ahead of him, such as Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek. While 49 points isn’t exactly a gold rush, it did place him fourth on the team last season. Now armed with a new contract, expectations should heighten.
Konecny could very well become a bargain for Philadelphia in the coming years. While Giroux is the current captain, Konecny has the makeup to wear a ‘C’ for the Flyers one day, should Giroux ever leave the franchise. And as the Flyers begin to reap the benefits of years of solid drafting, Philadelphia’s prospects will need older players to help show them the way. While Konecny is only 22 years old right now, he can be part of that connective tissue in the coming years.
As noted in our recent Five-Year Forecast of the Flyers, the future is incredibly bright in Philadelphia. Locking down Konecny for the next six seasons gives some cost certainty to the team and security to the player and comes at a stage of Konecny’s career where there is very little risk for either party. The contract does take the winger all the way to unrestricted free agent status, but that’s not much of a concern right now.
If everything shakes out the Flyers’ way, Konecny is probably a second-line player by the end of this new deal and it’s for positive reasons: kids like Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost are on their way up and both have a lot of potential. Konecny’s heart-and-soul game means he can play up and down the lineup and that versatility will benefit the Flyers both now and in the future.
With Konecny signed, GM Chuck Fletcher has now wrapped up most of his key players for the next few seasons, with the potential exception of Nolan Patrick, who is still on his rookie deal.
Though there has been some eyebrow-raising contracts in Philadelphia lately (notably Kevin Hayes), the Flyers will have enough entry-level guys in the future to balance things out. Unless they really get stung by veterans contributing less than their share, the Flyers will be able to ride out the salary cap until it presumably goes up in a couple of years thanks to the new American TV contract.
Konecny is a significant part of Philly’s future and now he’s locked up nice.