Kings believe there’s ‘still some upside’ in Luke Schenn

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Luke Schenn is only 26 years old, but it feels like he’s been in the NHL for a long time.

The fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft, he was once touted as a future captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s since been traded twice. First to Philadelphia, for James van Riemsdyk. Yesterday, to Los Angeles, for considerably less.

Unlike the expectations Schenn carried in Toronto and Philadelphia, for now, all the Kings want from their new right-shot defenseman is to fill the hole that Matt Greene‘s season-ending injury left.

“He’s very familiar with Drew Doughty and some of our players here, and it’s a chance for him to just come in and be himself, you know, and not have to worry about being a top pick and all of the expectations and everything else,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi said Wednesday. “He kind of reminds me where Matt Greene was when we first got Greener, and these guys are important guys in the mix.”

Schenn is a pending unrestricted free agent who didn’t have a future in Philadelphia. The Flyers have a promising crop of young defenseman. Some have already arrived, others will be coming soon.

“Luke understood where we were as a franchise,” Flyers GM Ron Hextall told CSN Philly. “And that we had numbers. He was a UFA and probably sensed something was coming. He was excited to go to L.A. and a top team … he knew half a dozen players from L.A.”

Schenn has already played 523 games in the NHL, and that’s a pretty good sample size to determine a player’s worth.

Still, Lombardi sees untapped potential.

“You’re dealing with a 26-year-old,” Lombardi said. “I think there’s still some upside in this kid.”