ALLENTOWN - Rookie right winger Travis Konecny made an impressive debut Monday - and drew comparisons to an NHL star - as the Flyers opened their preseason with a 5-3 win over the New York Islanders at the PPL Center.
Konecny, selected 24th in the first round of the June draft, scored a goal and drew a penalty with his speed and quick hands.
"He's fast," said veteran center Vinny Lecavalier, who scored a power-play goal and combined with linemates R.J. Umberger and Sam Gagner to produce 10 of the Flyers' 29 shots. "He's turning one way, turning the other way. I don't know him that much, but on that one shift, I was just kind of watching him, mesmerized by what he was doing.
"Nobody could catch up. Kind of like [Tyler] Johnson in Tampa," Lecavalier added. "He reminds me of him a little bit."
Konecny, who had 29 goals and 68 points in 60 games for Ottawa in the OHL last season, shook off the nerves early in his Flyers debut.
"My first shift, I got the legs going, made a couple of hits and got the feel of the game and the speed," he said.
Playing on a line with Jay Rosehill and Cole Bardreau, Konecny scored on a second-period backhander after two Isles misplayed a bouncing puck in front.
Konecny, 18, knows he is a long shot to make the team, but his goal is to earn a roster spot.
"I want to give myself the best opportunity," he said.
Highly touted rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov, drafted No. 7 overall in June, had some good and bad moments in his debut.
With about five minutes left, Provorov's turnover nearly led to the tying goal by Anthony Beauvillier, but Michal Neuvirth made one of his 16 saves.
Evgeny Medvedev, 33, made a nice move at the point and set up Lecavalier's power-play goal on a rebound, giving the Flyers a 3-2 lead with 11 minutes, 56 seconds left in the second period.
Konecny drew the penalty to put the Flyers on the power play.
"He made something happen every time he was on the ice," new coach Dave Hakstol said. "He has a lot of hockey sense, and he plays with a lot of jam."
In the other split-squad game, the Isles used their "A" team and defeated the Flyers, 3-2, in Brooklyn.
A nice-sized crowd watched the split-squads play in Allentown, the city immortalized by Billy Joel and revitalized by the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, whose arena has spurred a rebirth of downtown.
Medvedev is aiming for a rebirth of his career. A four-time all-star in Russia's KHL, he was signed as a free-agent in May and is in his first NHL season. Medvedev was paired with Michael Del Zotto and he played solidly.
The Islanders' Justin Vaive tied it at 3-all by scoring on his own rebound with 17:42 left. A little over a minute later, Del Zotto gave the Flyers a 4-3 lead, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare later added an empty-net goal.