The Vancouver Canucks management group will have some tough decisions leading up to the trade deadline. There have been a lot of names like J.T. Miller, Conor Garland, and Brock Boeser who have been linked to trades, but one player that the Canucks would be smart to keep is Luke Schenn. The two-time Stanley Cup winner has been phenomenal this season, and unless a team will overpay, Vancouver would be wise to ensure he stays on the roster past the Mar. 21 trade deadline.
Schenn Brings a Physical Element
Canuck fans have fallen in love with Schenn due to his physical game and willingness to stand up for teammates. Despite only playing 35 of the team’s 52 games, he leads all Canucks with 153 hits. The next highest is Miller with 114 in 50 games, followed by Myers with 100 in 52. Whether it is throwing 12 hits against the Blackhawks at the end of January or knocking the glass out of place with a hit against Toronto Maple Leaf defenceman Rasmus Sandin, he isn’t afraid to throw his weight around and wear down the opposition.
Schenn is constantly throwing hits to the point he has yet to go hitless in a game this season. He has thrown five or more hits 13 times this season and ranks 11th in the league despite missing 17 games. The Canucks are not an overly physical team outside of him, so removing him from the lineup would take away a physical element that the team desperately needs on a game-to-game basis.
Partnership With Hughes
The main reason to keep Schenn is his partnership with Quinn Hughes. The Canucks star is having his best season to date, and part of the reason is this partnership. A good way to show how successful this duo has been is through analytics. Here is a table that shows how well they have done together at five on five:
|Quinn Hughes Corsi With Luke Schenn||TOI: 267:25||55.47%|
|Quinn Hughes Corsi Without Luke Schenn||TOI: 345:48||50.84%|
|Luke Schenn Corsi with Quinn Hughes||TOI: 204:34||47.65|
Ever since arriving in Vancouver, the question has been who will play with Hughes. The Canucks tried players like Travis Hamonic, Tucker Poolman, and Chris Tanev, but no one has meshed better than Schenn. In order for Vancouver to build a Cup-contending team, they need to ensure their d-pairs are strong. Although this tandem may not seem like the best option at first glance, it has stood up over this season as one of the best on the Canucks roster. Yes, you may get an asset back through trade, but there is no guarantee the Canucks can find a right-shot defenceman that pairs so well with their young superstar blueliner.
Schenn on Pace for his Best Season in the NHL
Scheen is currently on pace for a career year in several statistical categories. His 10 points so far are the most since 2015-16, and his plus/minus of plus-12 is the best of his entire career. More importantly, he is playing consistently and averaging the most ice time since 2016-17 with over 17 minutes a game. One thing is clear, he loves playing in Vancouver and seems to have turned back the clock since joining the Canucks at the beginning of the season.
Schenn Should be Off-Limits
No one on this Canucks roster brings to the Canucks what Schenn does. Fans in Vancouver love him, his teammates, especially Hughes, love having him on their team, and his experience in the playoffs could help this team in their playoff chase. Sometimes, the best move a team can make is by keeping a player rather than trading him, and Schenn is a perfect example of someone who is more valuable on the team than not.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at https://www.area51sportsnetwork.com/ where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.