As he enters his third season in Philadelphia, the pressure is beginning to mount for the 22 year old center/winger. Schenn has pressure for a number of reasons given that he was the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft, the Flyers traded their captain in a deal that revolved around Schenn who was a promising young prospect at the time, and he has two seasons under his belt at the highest level.
Simply put: it is time for him to turn a page and really become an impact player in Philadelphia
Schenn got off to a bit of a sluggish start last season but turned it on midway through which is sure to make the Flyers brass optimistic about what he has in store for this upcoming season. In 47 games with the Flyers last year, Schenn netted eight goals and dished out 18 assists for 26 points. He also appeared in 33 games for the Adirondack Phantoms during the lockout and led them in points with 33 (13 goals, 20 assists).
Schenn’s production last season took a major step forward from a points-per-game standpoint. He averaged .33 points per game in 54 games as a 20 year old rookie in 2011-12 but jumped up to .55 points per game in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. He was on pace for a 45 point season had 2013 been a full year rather than an abbreviated 48 game schedule.
This year is a critical year for the Flyers to get a feel for what kind of player they really have in Schenn. He is going to get a great opportunity as the second-line winger with new center Vinny Lecavalier distributing the puck and Wayne Simmonds creating havoc in front of the net.
The comfort level Schenn has with the Flyers organization should not be any higher than it is right now. His older brother, Luke, is a defenseman on the Flyers blue line, he appears to be an untouchable trade piece with the organization’s desire to keep the Schenns together, and this is the third year he has been here so the people and the system are no longer new.
The problem is with his contract. He is slated to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. With Matt Read signing his four-year, $14.5 million contract extension on Friday, eyes have now turned to Schenn.
Currently, Schenn carries a $3.1 million cap hit which includes incentives but he is only earning $810,000 in base salary. The Flyers have not had to pay $3.1 million to Schenn but he did cash in on $124,390 worth of performance bonuses because he finished in the top-6 forwards (fifth) in total ice time.
A breakout season is not out of the question for Schenn this year. It is all right there – skill, teammates, comfort. Now it is up to him to be that top player the Kings saw when they took him with the fifth overall pick and the Flyers saw when they traded away Mike Richards for him or else he will might not be back in the orange and black.
At the very least, we all have seen his grit with his hit on Paul Martin and his “hit” on Sidney Crosby. His physical play is a given for the season.
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