Brayden Schenn emerging as key player in Flyers future

Think back to training camp in mid-September. Brayden Schenn began camp wearing a red jersey and found himself on the fourth line during drills. With the new coach Dave Hakstol in place, skeptics were wondering what was going on with Schenn.

Would he play center or right wing? Which line would he be on? How much did the Flyers trust and value him to be an important part of the lineup. Some fans watched him with doubt.

Schenn has since worked hard to confirm what he is made of.

As the Flyers race for a playoff spot, Schenn has certainly proved his value. This season is viewed as his "breakout" season, but actually with consistent coaching and stability, Schenn is able to demonstrate the talent that made him the fifth overall selection in the 2009 Draft.

With 18 goals and 18 assists, totaling 36 points, and 26 games left of in the season, Schenn is on pace to surpass 50 points.

Giving credit where credit is due, Schenn has been a huge asset to the team. Playing on the second line, with Sean Couturier as center, opportunities and goals were abundant. With Couturier injured in early February, Schenn shows no signs of stopping. He has scored eight goals in his last 14 games. He tallied three points in a game against New Jersey, and has earned most of his points on the power play. Nine of his 18 goals have been power play goals.

With Claude Giroux sidelined for Saturday's game in Toronto, Schenn stepped up to the top-line center position, again proving his versatility and importance to the team. Winning 14 of 19 faceoffs, scoring a goal and earning an assist.

Schenn has turned out to be a truly valuable player for the Flyers and remained modestly consistent when his role has been anything but. He has been asked to play all over the place, various line switches, many different linemates, many different hats as to what role he plays. He has taken it all in stride.

Schenn will be a restricted free agent this offseason and could earn a sizable pay raise in his new contract. With the salary cap in Philadelphia fluctuating, many options for trade are on the table. Schenn is still a candidate.

So the big question on fans minds is will Brayden Schenn be a Philadelphia Flyer next season? The answer is yes.

It will be costly, but worth it. Schenn has grown into a confident and attentive player and he will play a key role creating the elite team that GM Ron Hextall wants for the future.

Denise Mroz is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow her on Twitter @denisemroz10.

Go to top button