In Defense of Brayden Schenn

Photo credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)

Photo credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)

Brayden Schenn is one of the more unfairly maligned Flyers players. Spending a lot of time on the top line replacing Scott Hartnell probably caused many people to expect too much of him. Given being hyped once as the “best prospect not in the NHL” probably gave many people the idea that he is a first line player.

Schenn isn’t a bad player. He scored as a second line center in terms of raw point totals. But ratewise, he was more of a third liner.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

His possession impact lined up with third line talent while his scoring rate at even strength was also third line level. In fact, he made up the raw point differential by being a part of the Flyers powerplay unit and likely having a bunch of secondary assists along the way.

Here’s the most important thing, Brayden Schenn is on the second year of a 2.5 AAV bridge deal that ends with RFA status. It’s not like he is in a situation like RJ Umberger of Vinny Lecavalier where he’s being paid 4.5+ to be a near replacement level talent. And while 4.6 is a lot of money, unlike Lecavalier, Umberger can probably serve a hockey purpose. Schenn has hockey ability and isn’t destroying the salary cap.

Using him on the third line with Laughton and Simmonds isn’t the worst thing in the world. It will properly use his talents and keeping him on the first powerplay unit will keep his scoring totals up.

Use him right, and the results will be there.

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