In Defense of Luke Schenn

Amy Irvin (38Photography)

Amy Irvin (38Photography)

Like his brother Brayden, Luke Schenn is another Flyer with a reputation of being treated unfairly due to his draft status as a fifth overall pick and being traded for James van Riemsdyk. While not being the next Chris Pronger, Luke Schenn is actually a quality defender.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Since coming to Philadelphia, and this season as well, Luke Schenn has been a defensive liability for sure. However, oddly enough, Schenn drives offense with his possession ability. Despite not showing point totals, or powerplay ability. Schenn is in fact a a positive force on the blue line, just in a way that isn’t what you’d expect.

Via Own the Puck

Via Own the Puck

Schenn’s HERO chart shows that he scores at the rate of a second pair defender at 5v5. Unlike the big point getting defenders, like Streit and Del Zotto, Schenn’s raw point totals are low due to a lack of powerplay time. Should Schenn play the powerplay? Probably not, Streit and Del Zotto are much better suited to that.

In terms of individual puck possession, Schenn drives offense at top pair levels, while suppressing shots against at a third pair level. Essentially this balances to a second pair level.

Essentially, this means that Luke Schenn is probably okay if used in a second pair role with another puck mover like Del Zotto. Schenn’s a transitional defensive defender, he won’t actively steal or take the puck away, but once he gets it, he makes some darn good outlet passes.

So, while Luke Schenn may not be the next coming of Pronger, he certainly belongs on an NHL roster in something more than a bottom pair role.

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