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Flyers Prospect Travis Konecny Recalls His First Season of Junior Hockey

Konecny

Philadelphia Flyers prospect Konecny was back in his traditional red and white jersey this week preparing for the  World Junior Hockey Championship.

Following a year in which team Canada struggled to get past Finland in the quarterfinals, Konecny was traded from his junior team in Ottawa to a team in Sarnia.

“That was a stressful time last year,” Konecny recalled Monday while at Canada’s national junior team summer development camp. “It was obviously fun being at the world juniors, but it was kind of hectic when I got back home and had to deal with all the other stuff.

“I actually went to Sarnia, played three [games] in three [nights] and then flew back down to Ottawa, grabbed my car and all my things, and came back [to Sarnia].”

Between the two teams, Konecny tallied 30 goals and 101 points in just 60 games.

“I knew what I was going to be doing the second time around so I could prepare a little better and I felt I was a lot more relaxed off the start,” Konecny said. “My first year I was a little rusty and I came out pretty good this year.

“The 20-year-olds, the 22-year-olds — they’re all strong guys so what I took from it is getting stronger throughout the summer and the speed of the game is a lot quicker, too, so you’ve got to get prepared for that and adapt as quick as possible.”

Having experience in the 2016 Junior Championships has helped Konecny prepare for the 2017 event.

“It’s a fast transition,” he said. “You’ve got to come from your club team and try to adapt to the different systems: power play, penalty kill — anything it is — 5-on-5. It’s almost like playing, the coaches say here an AHL playoff game, which is the kind of level you’re wanting to get up to.”

Split between Montreal and Toronto, the 2017 World Junior Championships will allow for Konecny to play plenty of hockey close to home.

“There’s definitely pressure that comes with that, but it’s crazy that it’s back in Canada and we’re all excited,” he said. “I know my buddy Lawson [Crouse] got to experience it two years ago, so hearing what he has to say about it is tempting to want to get on the team as much as you can and do whatever it takes to get on the team.

“It’s even more home soil for me. I have family and friends that are all going to be able to come to the games.”

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