Skip to content

Can both Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier crack the Flyers lineup?

Sep 15, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

Sean Couturier Getty Images

When the Flyers sent Mike Richards to Los Angeles and Jeff Carter to Columbus in separate trades this summer, it shook the Flyers and their fans to the core. After all, both Carter and Richards were drafted in the first round in the same year back in 2003 and grew up together on the Flyers poised to be the center duo that would lead them to the Stanley Cup. While those two were able to take them to the finals in 2010, they couldn’t bring the big prize home. Seeing them both sent packing to new teams was a shock.

In their place came Brayden Schenn, acquired in the Mike Richards trade, and 2011 first round pick Sean Couturier, taken with the pick the Blue Jackets gave up to get Carter. Schenn was viewed as being one of the top prospects in all of hockey and Couturier was viewed before the draft as being one of the top five prospects in the 2011 draft.

The Flyers have both of their potential future stars on display during their rookies game in Philadelphia between the Flyers and Washington Capitals today at Wells Fargo Center. Could it be a preview of what’s to come as soon as this year? Some think it could be.

Brayden Schenn got a taste of NHL life last year with the Kings playing in eight games and getting to stick around with the team for a while as a healthy scratch. This time around, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has very high hopes for Schenn. Sam Carchidi of Philly.com gives his take.

Based on general manager Paul Holmgren’s comments earlier this summer, the hardworking Schenn is the leading candidate to start the season as the team’s third-line center. Scouts say Schenn, who turned 20 last month, is a budding star.

As for Couturier, being an 18 year-old going into his first professional camp is a daunting task. After being one of the top rated prospects in the 2011 draft, the thought was already around heading into draft weekend that he could be one of the few that makes it to the NHL right away. Joining Philadelphia doesn’t necessarily mean that though as the Flyers do have enough talent up the middle to make it work.

For Couturier, that might only serve to motivate him to force the issue in training camp and make a spot available for him on the Flyers roster right away. Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly.com looks at Couturier’s chances of cracking the Flyers roster as an 18 year-old.

Couturier, one of the participants in rookie camp, which kicked off Monday, is sure to get a lot of good looks from Flyers coaches and management over the coming days. And they will extend well into next week; the team’s full training camp begins Saturday. Couturier has already earned an invite.

“My main goal is to make the team, but I’m taking it one day at a time, working hard every day,” Couturier said. “Just trying to get better every day. It’s going to be up to the staff to decide whether they keep me or not.”

“I’m just hoping to make a good first impression,” he added.

If he can make that impression today against the Capitals and throughout training camp, there’s a chance he can make the Flyers and not get a ticket back to junior hockey. At 6’3″ 200 pounds, he’s got NHL size but whether his skills can keep up at an NHL level is another question.

One thing is for sure, coach Peter Laviolette will have a lot to look out for in training camp as both Schenn and Couturier are part of the Flyers future and will be good players. If they can both bring it to the NHL now, however, the Flyers’ deals this summer will start to look like genius moves from Paul Holmgren. If they can’t cut it though… Look out.

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    I don’t know where Couturier would play. Unless we get rid of Shelly. But even with that, Courturier won’t get ample playing time. I feel that may happen to Schenn too but not to the same degree. I couldn’t get down to the Center to watch the game but I am looking forward to seeing them in preseason.

    • redmosquito16 - Sep 16, 2011 at 10:17 AM

      “Unless we get rid of Shelly”.

      We? What exactly is your job title within the Flyers organization? I’d also suspect that they wouldn’t appreciate an employee commenting on potential personnel moves in a public forum.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM

        Are Shelly’s official apologist? Simmer down my dude. I’m just trying to make a point. But I hope we, I mean the Flyers, really consider moving Shelly.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:42 AM

    If one makes it this year it’ll be Schenn, but expect to see both of them in The Show in the next 2-3 years. Good Canadian boys always keeping that franchise afloat…..

  3. ICDogg - Sep 16, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    I think that might be a problem capwise.

    I think they’ve budgeted Schenn as playing this season but not Couturier. If Couturier does impress I guess they could keep him up for a few games before sending him back to junior to get a better look. If he impresses a lot then, they would have to figure out how to fit him in.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Harding (1560)
  2. C. Anderson (1554)
  3. B. Bishop (1542)
  4. C. Price (1489)
  5. M. Fleury (1426)
  1. D. Alfredsson (1405)
  2. A. Ekblad (1400)
  3. M. Staal (1372)
  4. J. Giguere (1331)
  5. D. Setoguchi (1248)