|5’11”||170||2-22-04||RW||R||71st 2020||85 NA||USA|
|2019-20||U-15||Pittsburgh Penguins U-15||55||36||27||63|
Born in Newmarket Ontario, Sudbury Wolves winger Evan Konyen grew up in Mars Pennsylvania and is a dual citizen if Canada and the United States. Last summer he was invited to by USA Hockey to attend their Development Camp for the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.
After a good season with the Pittsburgh Penguins Under-15 squad, the Wolves selected Konyen with their fourth-round pick – 71st overall – at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. Although this was his technically his second season, he was still a rookie, because of the lost season of 2020-2021 due to the pandemic. Konyen was also selected in the 2021 USHL Entry Draft in the 6th round – 92nd overall, by the Sioux Falls Stampede.
Konyen’s 16 goals and 34 assists were good for second on a young and upcoming Sudbury Wolves team (14 players making their first appearance in the OHL). And while he plays with some pace to his game at this level, he is the complimentary piece on a line and not the driver. If he is paired with someone who drives a line and a competent playmaker, Konyen can finish. But he can also make plays himself.
Konyen got off to a very strong start this season but COVID-19 cancellations slowed the process for him and others on the Wolves. Not to mention the unbalanced schedule had a huge effect on them. Over 60 percent of the Wolves 68 game schedule were played against 4 of the top OHL teams. That’s not a recipe for success for individuals or as a team.
Coming out of the 2020 Priority Selection, it was widely believed that the Wolves got a steal of a pick getting Konyen in the fourth round. Tabbed as a speedy goal scoring winger who could also play down the middle, I don’t think he reached the level I expected of him, and that might be due to what I mentioned above.
Konyen has very good speed and has shown an ability to dissect the opposition. However, I don’t believe his hands have fully reached the speed of his feet as he is prone to turnovers more than I would like to see. But he does think the game at high speed, able to make passes when he reaches top speed while also seeing the play develop.
At 5’11” and just 170 pounds, Konyen doesn’t have a lot of size and muscle which tends to get him knocked off the puck at times. How to handle the physicality while becoming more physical himself will come as he bulks up some.
Defensively, Konyen appears to absorb what the coaching staff requires of him. But it is a work in progress. He’s smart and he will eventually get it but that part of his game is also a work in progress.
As a natural goal scorer who has shown more than enough ability, Konyen is worth a serious look by an NHL team in and around the middle of the fourth round.
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