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Brad Marchand Is The Floor For Travis Konecny's Potential, Not The Ceiling

Vegas Golden Knights v Philadelphia Flyers

Ever since making the jump to the Flyers’ top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny has been having a breakout season. Last night against the Rangers, he got goals number 21 and 22 on the season. For a 21-year-old who more or less struggled last year to find any sort of consistency with his game, that’s huge. 44 points on the year and he’s only been getting better as the season goes on.

As Konecny starts to get more and more recognition, the player comparison he draws the most is Brad Marchand. And it makes sense. They’re both a couple of bulldogs out there. They’re undersized players but they play the game with an edge. They’re at their best when they’re playing a physical game, even if that means they toe the line from time to time. They’re both Grade A shit stirrers and they can both produce offensively. Marchand had 85 points in 80 games last year, and he’s currently working with 75 points in just 58 games this year. He’s an All Star. He’s a Stanley Cup champion. And he’s one of the biggest pests in the league to play against. That’s the exact type of player that Flyers fans would want Travis Konecny to be.

My only issue with the comparison? I think Konecny can be even better. Just look at their stats. For starters, Konecny put up 70 points as a 17-year-old in the OHL. I know the OHL is a forward’s league and they pretty much refuse to play defense there, but 70 points the year before your draft year is nasty regardless of where you’re playing. He then put up over 100 points in the OHL the year after he was drafted so it’s not like 22 goals and 44 points is going to be anything close to Konecny’s career high.

Brad Marchand had some decent numbers playing in the QMJHL but he never put up 100. And when Marchand was 21, he was playing with Providence in the AHL. So TK at 21 already has 72 more points in the NHL than Marchand has.

And another thing that Konecny has on Marchand is this–for basically his whole career, the biggest knock on Brad Marchand is that he can’t keep himself out of trouble. He’s an elite offensive talent in the league but he still plays the game like a kid who gets 1 game in the show and is trying to make a name for himself by taking out the knees of the other team’s best player. Playing with that edge is fine as long as you know where the line is. But Marchand continuously crosses that line and either ends up in the penalty box or the press box with a suspension. Konecny has that same style of play where he’s never going to shy away from being physical and he’s always gonna try to throw people off of their game by being a pest. I just think he has a little bit of a better understanding of where the line is than Marchand does.

So in closing, Travis Konecny and Brad Marchand are essentially the same type of player. But Konecny is just a little bit better offensively and he’s way less of a liability when it comes to potentially losing one of your best forwards for 5 games because he’s addicted to taking headshots. I’m totally fine with the player comparison just as long as it’s not “Travis Konecny could be as good as Brad Marchand one day”. That’s not true. He will be as good as Brad Marchand one day and will probably end up being better.

P.S. – Thank god the Flyers had the Rangers on the schedule last night. They needed 2 points in the worst way. 7 more games. 6 points ahead of the Devils. It’s definitely not a lock yet for this team to make the playoffs since the wheels can fall off at any point. But I’m a lot more confident this morning than I was on Wednesday yesterday.

@BarstoolJordie