Expect to hear Luke Schenn’s name a lot leading up to the draft. The 22-year-old defenseman is coming off a tough season with the Maple Leafs and there are those who believe he could use a fresh start somewhere else to regain his confidence.
Schenn’s name came up repeatedly prior to the trade deadline, often in connection with Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk.
More recently, there’s been chatter he could end up in Edmonton (as part of a trade for the Oilers’ first overall pick) or even Vancouver (with Roberto Luongo heading the other way).
Schenn is an interesting case. The fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft was impressive as a 19-year-old rookie, but he struggled as a sophomore. He bounced back his third season, then fell back again in his fourth.
Perhaps Schenn continues the pattern and has a solid fifth season in Toronto. However, for now, the Leafs’ top four consists of Dion Phaneuf, Carl Gunnarson, Jake Gardiner and John-Michael Liles. Then there’s Cody Franson and Mike Komisarek, plus a few Marlies that could make the jump soon.
Schenn has four years left on a contract with a cap hit of $3.6 million. He’s not a particularly great skater, and he could definitely cut down on the glaring giveaways. However, he’s still young, and for a team looking for some toughness on the back end, he could be a fit.