Two years ago, Brayden Schenn was the player in the Carter and Richards deals. He was the one viewed with the most upside and potential. A young Mike Richards, Holmgren called him. Which, of course, means Schenn (and his brother) is on the block.
We are hearing some interesting names that are starting to surface. Two of them that come to mind are Brayden Schenn of the Phildadelphia Flyers and Michael Del Zotto of the New York Rangers. Now the Flyers aren’t trying to push out Schenn – they may want to push out his brother Luke – but what they’ve told teams quietly is that if there is the right deal available, if they can find the right fit, then absolutely they would include Brayden Schenn in a trade scenario. And we know Paul Holmgren likes to make that big blockbuster deal.
Luke’s name has popped up before, because some in the organization apparently think he can’t play. And though many have assumed that Brayden would eventually get traded (either based on rumor or Holmgren’s history), this is the first time he’s been directly linked to trade rumors by a respected hockey writer.
I’m not sure either guy should be off-limits, but given the Flyers’ previous impatientcycycycy not paying off, maybe it’s best that they don’t trade the younger Schenn, who has started to look like an actual hockey player lately.
Ryan Bright, writing for Comcast SportsNet’s weblog, gives some more reasons why trading Schenn might not be a good idea:
At 21, his rookie season, former Flyers captain Richards earned 34 points. In his sophomore season, 22-year-old Richards was on pace for 45 points with 14 goals and 31 assists — the exact same 82-game projection as Schenn’s sophomore campaign. Richards’ big season didn’t come until 2007-08, when he was 23, earning a whopping 75 points.
Both Jeff Carter and James van Riemsdyk are other examples of this same slow-and-steady road to production, as both players gradually improved from 20-22 until they hit their full offensive stride after their 23rd birthday.
At 22, Schenn isn’t Jamie Benn, Bobby Ryan or Logan Couture. But if he continues to improve and produce, he won’t be far behind. For the Flyers, that possibility alone should be worth the patience.
In other words: don’t be an overreactive dope, Paul.