Tuesday, November 29, 2016

It Is Travis Konecny Revenge Week

We joke (a lot) on Flyers Twitter about the Boston Bruins passing on Travis Konecny three times in the 2015 NHL Draft. To this point, Konecny has vastly outperformed the trio that Boston selected with the 13th, 14th, and 15th picks that summer (Jakub Zboril, Jake Debrusk, and Zachary Senshyn).

But to be completely honest, it's not just Boston.  Konecny has outperformed just about everyone else from that draft too, with only a few exceptions.

And so, as we roll into Travis Konecny Revenge Week, let's look at all of the stupid idiots who decided not to select the most exciting little ball of fury in hockey.

Exemptions: The Top Five Picks In The Draft

  1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
  2. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
  3. Dylan Strome, Arizona Coyotes
  4. Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs
  5. Noah Hanifin, Carolina Hurricanes
McDavid might already be the best player in the NHL. Eichel returns from a lengthy injury tonight and seems poised to be a cornerstone piece for Buffalo. Hanifin is a stud on the 'Canes blueline already. Marner probably rates higher than Konecny, despite the defensive shortcomings we discussed this morning. Strome returned the the OHL last week, and I guess you could say there is some fear that his juniors play was elevated by playing with McDavid and fellow first round pick Alex DeBrincat. 

I want to give Arizona a pass just because their team seems like such a nonfactor, but they're actually a good place to start. 

Arizona Coyotes

Passed on Konecny with pick(s): 3 (Strome)

The 'Yotes clearly wouldn't have had to spend the third pick on Konecny, but they could have moved back to pick up multiple first-round talents. Admittedly, though, it a stretch. But it's a start, and we can only go up from here. 

Idiot level: 1/5

Columbus Blue Jackets

Passed on Konecny with pick(s): 8 (Zach Werenski)

The BJ's selected Werenski, who it seems will form a holy trinity of defensemen from this draft with Hanifin and Philadelphia's Ivan Provorov. Columbus needed a defenseman, and although this may have been a reach on draft night, in retrospect Werenski could have gone higher than he did. 

This is starting off poorly, but top five talents make it hard to qualify any front office as idiotic. 

Idiot level: 1/5

New Jersey Devils

Passed on Konecny with pick(s): 6 (Pavel Zacha)

Just outside of that aforementioned top five were the Devils, who elected to select Konecny's teammate in Sarnia instead of Konecny. The following season in juniors, Konecny played head and shoulders above Zacha. Now they're both in the NHL, and Konecny is significantly above Zacha in quite literally every statistical category imaginable. 

Plus they drafted a Russian. Sad!

Idiot level: 5/5

Washington Capitals

Passed on Konecny with pick(s): 22 (Ilya Samsonov)

Speaking of Russians, this team full of communists drafted a goalie in the first round. A goalie! And the best part is, that goalie has probably slipped behind Mackenzie Blackwood and Felix Sandstrom, who were taken significantly later than him in the draft. 

For a team who had a 26-year-old perennial Vezina candidate on the roster already, was goaltender really a big enough need to justify risking a first rounder on the most voodoo position in sports?

Idiot level: 4/5

Boston Bruins

Passed on Konecny with pick(s): 13 (Zboril), 14 (Debrusk), 15 (Senshyn)

And now, let's shift our focus to Revenge Week. First up is the Bruins, and that aforementioned trio of Players Who Are Not As Good As Travis Konecny (Or Matt Barzal, Or Kyle Connor, Or Thomas Chabot, Or Brock Boeser, Or Noah Juulsen, Or Sebastian Aho, Or Brandon Carlo). 

In general, draft night selections proceed in line with what the hockey internet community believes is going to happen. Sometimes, teams will reach for a player they like. Other times, a player will fall further than most had expected. But it's normally a one-off type of deal, and it corrects itself within a half-dozen picks or so. 

But Boston's performance on that June evening was one for the history books. In Zboril, Debrusk, and Senshyn, the Bruins spent the 13th, 14th, and 15th picks to end up with a defenseman and two wingers who were each ranked no higher than 18th, 27th, and 39th by the major hockey scouting companies. 

Doesn't it seem like they could have used those picks in a more effective way, either by trading for players to bolster their lineup or trading back in the draft to stockpile some additional picks?

Idiot level: 6/5

Ottawa Senators

Passed on Konecny with pick(s): 18 (Thomas Chabot), 21 (Colin White)

Don't you dare start thinking that Boston's idiocy exonerates you, The Senators. Granted, defensemen tend to develop more slowly than forwards, but Chabot (#18) played one single game in the NHL this season before being send back to juniors. 

For me, White is an even worse situation for the Sens. He's a forward, which I guess we can interpret as he won't take as long to develop as a defenseman. But right after the draft he began his freshman season at Boston College, where he will likely play until Konecny tops 150 NHL points. 

Idiot level: 5/5

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