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04-16-2013, 11:39 AM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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From 2012:

The Flyers believe that defenseman Matt Konan will become one of the overage signees who eventually makes it to the top level. Signed as a free agent this spring, the Tustin, California, native played five seasons in the Western Hockey League for the Medicine Hat Tigers. He will turn 21 on Sept. 3.

Konan is one of three rookie free agent position players slated to play for the Adirondack Phantoms next season. The others are 21-year-old forward Andrew Johnston (Humbolt Broncos, SJHL), 23-year-old forward Matt Mangene (who split time between forward and defense at the University of Maine). The team will also feature 24-year-old goaltender Niko Hovinen (Lahti Pelicans, SM-liiga) and 23-year-old goaltender Cal Heeter (Ohio State University), who also came to the Flyers via the free agent route.

Unselected in the 2009 to 2011 NHL Drafts, Konan nevertheless was regarded as a solid and reliable defenseman during his time with the Tigers. A plus-rated player in each of his five seasons, he topped the plus-20 mark twice and was a mainstay on the penalty kill. He possesses a 6-foot-2 frame that has filled out a bit beyond his listed 182 pounds. Konan is also not afraid to use his size in the hitting department, but not at the expense of playing a sound positional game.

“I try to play physical when I can and be a two-way player,” said Konan, who posted 117 penalty minutes in 2009-10 and 73 last season.

Konan’s offensive game emerged during his overage season. Following the WHL graduations of Mark Isherwood, Jace Coyle and Thomas Carr, the Tigers asked Konan to take on added offensive responsibilities last year. He responded with a 54-point season (9 goals, 45 assists) that shattered his previous top offensive season by 34 points, and then added 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 8 playoff games.

The Flyers believe that Konan had the capability all along to post some points, because he is an adept passer who makes good breakout passes and intelligent pinches. Although the AHL rookie is not expected to see much power play time right away for the Phantoms, he has the potential to eventually play a point on a secondary power play unit at the minor league level. However, it is his all-around situational game that will be what makes or breaks his professional career.

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