Three years ago, Terry Murray was coaching Brayden Schenn in Los Angeles.
Today, the pair are back together — in AHL Adirondack — and the reunion has been a positive one for Murray, who gushes about how much Schenn has grown as a player.
“Since I saw him in LA, every part of his game has come along tremendously,” Murray told the Philadelphia Daily News. “He’s physically more mature, mentally more mature. He’s starting to really identify with what his niche is in the game.
“He’s becoming a more complete player.”
Schenn, 21, is having a remarkable season. He leads Adirondack in scoring (22 points in 18 games) and sits third overall in the league. He’s also emerged as Murray’s go-to guy in clutch situations.
Schenn leads the Phantoms in both power-play and shorthanded goals and his recent scoring binge — 11 points in his last seven games — has translated to wins.
Adirondack is 4-3 over those seven games, not bad for a team that only mustered two wins in its first six contests of the season.
“He’s the kind of ‘big-game’ player that coaches love,” Murray said. “I can put him out on the ice in critical situations and know what I’m going to get out of him. He knows when he needs to step up; he knows the critical times and critical situations.
“Not all players recognize that. I’ve always believed the toughest thing in pro sports is to win when you’re supposed to.”
Schenn’s ascension has to be exciting for Flyers fans.
Along with Sean Couturier, he represents the future of Philly’s dynamic young forward group, one that also includes Claude Giroux (24 years old), Wayne Simmonds (23), Matt Read (26) and, eventually, 2012 first-rounder Scott Laughton, who is currently tearing it up with OHL Oshawa.