Ko­neckny jelling with team­mates

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Rob Par­ent rpar­ent @21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Reluc­tan­tSE on Twit­ter

PHILADEL­PHIA >> Shortly af­ter the Fly­ers’ big­gest vic­tory of the young sea­son and per­haps Travis Konecny’s most mem­o­rable mo­ment of his young life Tues­day night, the 19-year-old rookie was basking in the af­ter­glow of it all.

Konecny had scored his first NHL goal 4:30 into what would be­come a three-goal third pe­riod for the Fly­ers, and in a game that would re­sult in a stun­ning 4-3 shootout vic­tory over the Buf­falo Sabres. Yet amid all the ex­cite­ment he felt after­ward, Konecny made sure to give credit where he thought credit was due... Elsewhere. “I’m just ex­cited that it hap­pened,” Konecny said af­ter the Fly­ers’ ex­ca­va­tion from a three-deep hole, lev­el­ing their record at 3-3-1 head­ing into a home game Thurs­day night against Ari­zona. “But the thing for me that was more ex­cit­ing was com­ing back af­ter that 3-0 (deficit); an over­all ex­cit­ing night for us.”

Konecny has had an im­pres­sive start to a sea­son that at first looked like it might present one last ju­nior hockey sea­son for him. But he earned his ma­jor league stripes in train­ing camp, along with a pledge from gen­eral man­ager Ron Hex­tall that if Konecny played up to snuff, this wasn’t go­ing to be a tem­po­rary as­sign­ment prior to the dead­line of when he’d have to be sent back to ju­nior.

That dead­line is af­ter nine games. Through seven, it’s al­ready clear Konecny, who has a goal and five as­sists, can feel pretty se­cure about stay­ing.

“He has been an im­pact player,” coach Dave Hak­stol said of Konecny. “Apart from the ob­vi­ous things you see on the ice, I see a guy that is work­ing hard on his game. He does that ev­ery day. He has got a good level of hu­mil­ity to him which I think en­dears him to the older guys in the room. He keeps his mouth shut and works and that’s a pos­i­tive.”

True to form, while talk­ing about the thrill of scor­ing his first goal — a tipin of a blast of a pass/shot from fel­low 19-year-old rookie Ivan Provorov — Konecny quickly switched the con­ver­sa­tion in the di­rec­tion of his line­mates, Jake Vo­racek and Sean Cou­turier.

“The credit has to go to Jakey and Coots for giv­ing me that con­fi­dence game-in and game-out,” Konecny said.

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