If the playoffs were any indication of what’s to come, Brayden Schenn is going to be a treat for Philadelphia fans to watch in the coming seasons.
Despite being a historically streaky player, Schenn proved otherwise this season. After a somewhat slow start with 15 points in his first 34 games, the Flyer forward kicked into a high gear for the rest of the season, tallying 44 points in the remaining 47 games.
That’s the consistency that Flyer faithful have been looking for from the young forward. Despite only registering two points in the playoffs, Schenn continued to be a physical force all series, and even fought Capitals star T.J. Oshie at the beginning of game 5 to send a message. The series ended up pretty dull for the Flyers, but he brought intensity and looked to spark the team at times when they needed it most.
So what does that mean for the summer?
The Flyers need to lock up Brayden Schenn, and they need to do it soon.
The Flyers have an extremely bright future ahead of them on the blue line, but their young forwards are entering the “now” phase. Claude Giroux is in his prime, and Voracek, Simmonds, Schenn, and Couturier are heading into their best years right now. All of those guys except for Schenn are locked in. The Flyers need to change that.
The Flyers need to lock him up for the long-term.
Guys like him are hard to come by in today’s NHL. He has the potential to be a goal-scorer, play maker, and a huge physical presence (as we’ve already seen) in the future. The closest the Flyers have to that right now is Wayne Simmonds, and he arguably doesn’t have the play making side that Brayden Schenn has.
Right now, the Flyers are looking at about $12.5 million in cap space (assuming Vincent Lecavalier retires). If they buyout R.J. Umberger (safe to assume they will), they’ll be looking at north of $15 million in cap space. That’s a sizeable amount of money when the only two guys they really need to worry about bringing back are Brayden Schenn, Radko Gudas, and Ryan White.
It’s reasonable to think that Schenn will demand somewhere in the neighborhood of $4.5-$5 million a year, which should be looked at as a steal for the Flyers, considering the potential that he still has.
Despite constant scrutiny, he is still just 24 years old. That leaves plenty of time for the young forward to come into his own and be a huge force on this team. He was arguably one of the best players down the stretch for the Flyers, if he can keep that consistency running into next year, he will only up his point production even more.
More importantly, Ron Hextall has acknowledged that the Flyers most pressing need over the summer is to add a scoring winger. That could bode very well for Schenn who may then be able to center a line with said “scoring winger”.
The Flyers need to lock up Brayden Schenn, he is only going to get better.
Matt is a contributor for the Philadelphia Flyers at The Hockey Writers. He has previously covered the Flyers for GrandstandU. He enjoys playing hockey and making music in his spare time.