Weight: 229 lbs.
Cap Hit: $3.6 M
3 G, 8 A, 11 Pts
Welcome to the world of James van Riemsdyk and Luke Schenn. The two players had largely underachieved for the Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs during their first few seasons in the NHL and a change might have been best for both players. So, citing need of both squads, general managers Paul Holmgren and Brian Burke swapped the two players for each other and it was what they needed.
Luke Schenn came to Philadelphia only to be reunited with his younger brother, Brayden.
Schenn came to give the Flyers much-needed help on the blue line. At just 23 years old, 6’2”, 229 lbs. the older Schen proved to be an imposing force for the Flyers defense. Schenn led all defensemen in hits in 2011-12 and 2013 was a continuation. Schenn clearly loved to inflict as much pain on the opponents as possible. His 187 hits are a prime example, good for first in the NHL among defensemen and third overall.
He also tapped into his offensive game a tad scoring 3 goals and adding 8 assists for 11 points. He is not known as an offensive defenseman but, since he is still so young, he could improve from where he is currently.
Luckily for Schenn, he comes to a team that has one of the best defensemen to ever lace ‘em up under contract. Chris Pronger, who’s career is all but officially over thanks to post-concussion symptoms, worked with Schenn following the lockout last season to try and instill as much wisdom as possible on the newest Flyer.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, it was a shortened training camp so Schenn’s improvement was noticeable but still marginal. With the extended training camp this season, Schenn should be able to get his feet underneath him quickly looking to improve on last season.
His skating is not where you’d like to see him but it is what you expecting from a big, lumbering defenseman. It was one of the few knocks people had on Schenn during his first season. If he can improve his skating, his effectiveness will immediately increase. Catching him out of position wasn’t entirely uncommon but improved skating will help him cover up from those mistakes.
It will be interesting to see if Schenn’s puck skills have increased at all because his cannon of a shot from the point would look great on the power play. Schenn’s blasts were hazards for anyone standing in their way but he didn’t shoot as much as I would’ve liked registering just 81 shots on goal. If that number goes up, the Flyers’ scoring chances are going to go up – because they have no other choice.
Schenn, who is signed through 2016 with a cap hit of $3.6 million, could be the Flyers’ defenseman of the future. The Schenn brothers, Luke and Brayden, are looking to show that they are more effective playing together and that the Flyers were right for making them untouchable in trades.
Let’s hope their effectiveness shows on the ice.
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