If all goes well in training camp, Travis Konecny will have an expanded role with the Flyers this season.
Coach Dave Hakstol plans to give the speedy Konecny a look-see on the penalty kill, which struggled mightily last season, and also has him penciled in as the top-line right winger, where he spent about half of the 2017-18 campaign.
Hakstol's plans suit Konecny.
"I've played some PK. I played a little in junior, and I played in World Juniors, too," he said after an informal practice attended by most veterans in Voorhees on Wednesday, two days before camp officially opens. "I love the PK. It's a big part of the game. Teams that finish near the top have one of the best PKs, so I think it's important that guys buy in. It's going to be a good opportunity for me."
A year ago, the Flyers were 29th in the 31-team NHL on the penalty kill — they clicked at just 75.8 percent — so there is lots of room for improvement.
"The PK is very detailed," said Konecny, 21. "You're playing against the five best men on the ice, and you all have to be on the same page. It's going to be fun because I like blocking shots for the team and I think that's a big part of the PK. We want to make sure we're not an easy team to get pucks through."
The plan also is for Konecny to be on the top line with left winger Claude Giroux and center Sean Couturier, who is coming back from a knee injury but showed no ill effects as he participated in an intrasquad scrimmage Wednesday.
Last season, Konecny scored 20 of his 24 goals in the 41 games he played on that No. 1 line. He had just four goals in 40 games on other lines.
"If you know how to buy into the system with those guys, it makes the game easier," Konecny said. "You do the right things. You play defense, and then when I see G or Coots with the puck, I just use my speed to get up ice as fast as I can and try to be a threat that way. And sometimes if I'm pushing their D back, it gives G and Coots an opportunity to make plays. It should be good. It worked really good last year. I know G and Coots are pros, so they did all their work in the offseason and they're going to come back ready to go."
Just like Konecny.