The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Luke Schenn from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick. Schenn makes his return to where it all started, as he was drafted by the Maple Leafs in 2008 with the fifth overall pick.
Schenn was a player that plenty of teams had interest in, but it was the Maple Leafs who were able to acquire him. Although this isn’t a needle-mover trade like the Timo Meier or Ryan O’Reilly deals were, he adds a presence on the blue line that is built for the playoffs. So far this season, he has 21 points, 81 blocks and 258 hits with the Canucks, though he had been sitting out as of late for trade-related reasons.
Schenn has a ton of playoff experience, as he won back-to-back Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2019-20 and 2020-21. Being able to acquire a player who has a history of winning Cups is something that teams covet around this time of year, as it adds an element to the locker room they may be lacking.
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Schenn is a traditional stay-at-home defenseman who was part of a struggling Vancouver team. He hopes to turn things around with his new club, as the Maple Leafs are currently in second place in the Atlantic Division, and having added him can help their blue line. The expectation is that he would slot into their bottom defense pair, but things can change based on chemistry. He is in the last year of a two-year deal that pays him $850,000 and is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Schenn’s Fit on the Maple Leafs
Schenn is the hard-hitting blueliner that Leafs nation has wanted for the last two seasons. Many of those members of the fan base know who he is from his early days with the team. However, he has adapted to the early struggles and has changed his style of play to stay in the NHL. He had been held out of the lineup for the last handful of games for trade-related reasons so the Canucks could protect the asset. Now that he is with the Leafs organization, the expectation is that he will join the western road trip this week.
Schenn’s fit with the Maple Leafs couldn’t be more perfect. He provides that hard-to-play-against, physical element that the club is trying to adapt to. He can pinch players off on the halfway or crush them in the open ice. He also can clear the crease, which is something the Maple Leafs aren’t very good at doing.
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These aspects of his game will boost their playoff chances, as they haven’t had this style of player on their back end during the Auston Matthews/Mitch Marner era. He will make it hard for their opponents to play against them and also isn’t afraid to stand up for his teammates.
The Return for the Canucks
The Canucks were asking for a third-round pick, which is what they received, as they are in rebuild mode and selling off assets as fast as they can. Schenn found a good home with the Canucks, but unfortunately, all good things come to an end. Now the Canucks look to collect more draft capital and be productive during the draft to get the rebuild fully in motion.
The third-round selection they got from the Maple Leafs is for this upcoming draft, which is said to be very deep. If the Canucks are selling what the hockey insiders are reporting, like JT Miller and Brock Boeser, then their draft capital will increase over the next number of seasons. Just like other teams in a rebuild, having a fully stocked cupboard of picks is the best way to go.
Overall, this trade is good for both teams. The Maple Leafs got a piece that they have been looking for and are badly in need of. As for the Canucks, they get to add another asset to their back pocket and can start building for the future.