Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his annual rankings of the top 30 draft-eligible prospects. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26-27.
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |#15 - TRAVIS KONECNY
Center, Ottawa (OHL)
5’9.5”, 176 lbs.
The heart and soul leader of the Ottawa 67’s after being selected first overall in the 2013 Ontario Hockey League Draft, Konecny began his draft year slowly with just two goals in his first 16 games while surviving a concussion scare. His complete game took off from there, though, resulting in the fearless forward piling up points to keep his name high on draft boards.
A player who rightly wears the “C” due to his leadership by example, Konecny makes up for his below-average frame by being a tenacious competitor. He quickly gets in deep on the forecheck and is willing to stir the pot in the high traffic areas.
As an offensive force, Konecny uses his impeccable straight-line speed to earn breakaways and finish off 2-on-1s. He has good eyes for the passing game and possesses a bullet right-handed shot.
Konecny, who led the 67’s in scoring in 2013-14 en route to earning the league’s Rookie of the Year award, ended his second major junior campaign with 29 goals and 68 points, two shy of his rookie total.
With the slow start behind him, Konecny applied a closing kick with 16 goals and 38 points in 26 games after Jan. 1, and continued the upped production in the playoffs with 10 points (3+7) before being injured in Game 5 of the opening round series versus Niagara. For his efforts, Konecny was named the Best Skater and Best Stickhandler in the season-ending Eastern Conference Coaches Poll.
Just as he was heating up in January, Konecny rose to the occasion at the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, connecting for two goals and one assist to earn Team Orr’s Player of the Game in a 6-0 rout of Team Cherry.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.