A slow start to his draft eligible season hasn’t taken too much of the shine off Ottawa 67’s captain Travis Konecny.
A highly regarded prospect heading into the 2014-15 season, recorded just three goals and 12 points in his first 18 games to kick off the campaign.
"That was definitely a learning experience for me; when you're going into your draft year and have all those expectations for yourself and then you see yourself drop a little bit, I think it's a humbling thing," Konecny told NHL.com earlier this month. "It helped me a lot and made me realize you need to work hard and stay focused, enjoy hockey. Once I got back to having fun and doing the little things, my stock started to go back up again."
He did, and it did. After sparking his season, Konecny went on a tear, recording 26 goals and 30 assists in his final 42 regular season games.
His 67’s couldn’t survive the first round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs, but Konecny netted three goals and seven assists in the five-game exit.
"The way I compete is I wake up every day feeling there is someone better than me so I want to push to be the best," he said.
Though his season came to an abrupt end, the attitude continued.
Konecny finished near the tops of the 2015 NHL Draft class in three categories at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo to start the month. With 13 pull-ups, Konecny placed second. With 16 repetitions on the bench press, he finished tied for fourth. At 111.0 inches, Konecny finished 10th in the standing long jump.
Needless to say, he’s left a lasting impression.
Born: March 11, 1997
Hometown: London, ON
Position: RW (Right Shot)
Team: Ottawa (OHL)
CSS Rank: 14th among North American Skaters
FC Rank: 11th overall
ISS Rank: 12th overall
Daniel Deschenes of Future Considerations: “The smaller winger has shown time and time again that his size should not be questioned. Aside from this, I see no deficiencies in his game, and as someone who does not care about the size this kid possesses, I would be taking him early on. The drive, leadership abilities and skills that this kid possesses will take him far in what should be a long career.”
Dennis MacInnis of International Scouting Service: “Kid’s a winner! Can play on my team, Absolutely fearless. He's got the skill to match as well. Passion of Brendan Gallagher only with more offensive upside. Safe pick - top 15 pick for me.”
Chris Edwards of Central Scouting: "He's a highly skilled forward who never quits. He skates very well, has excellent speed, is not afraid to get involved in battles and has no fear of taking the puck to the net."
As a lead-in to the 2015 NHL Draft, CalgaryFlames.com will outline potential targets for the Calgary Flames with the 15th overall pick in the first round on draft day on June 26th.