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Hextall says Flyers ‘think there’s more’ to Brayden Schenn’s game

Aug 9, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

Brayden Schenn Getty Images

Last season was officially a breakout year for Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn. He played all 82 games in Philly and netted 20 goals with 41 points – all career-highs.

Now with some changes happening in Philly with Scott Hartnell off to Columbus and R.J. Umberger re-joining the Flyers, GM Ron Hextall is expecting more from Schenn as Adam Kimelman of shared.

“He’s got a real gift at putting the puck in the net,” Hextall said. “He scored 20 goals, which at this stage of the game that’s a lot of goals. But we still think there’s more there and there’s more growth. I think the biggest thing is the consistency part.”

One place Schenn could find himself next season is on a line with captain Claude Giroux. With Hartnell out of town and Umberger being expected to help out on other lines, that leaves a spot open on Giroux’s left side. While Schenn is a natural center, his offensive game may be just the thing the Flyers need to give them a potent first line attack.

Hextall added that Schenn needs to be more consistent. If that happens and he winds up with Giroux, goals will come in bunches for all of them.

  1. johnmr12 - Aug 9, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    You can’t argue with success. Since acquiring Richards from the Flyers, the Kings have been in 3 straight conference finals and won two Stanley cups. But after watching Richards play, and then watching Schenn and Simmonds play, it sure seems like the Kings would be even better had that deal not been made.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 9, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Richards may not be living up to statistical expectations in LA but you can’t discount his overall contributions to a potential dynasty. Maybe LA would be even better with the cheaper Schenn and Simmonds (both of whom are outproducing Richards) but what folks have to remember is that Richards was a major focal point in Philly. He was the captain, used in every possible situation. Now he should be doing more from an offensive standpoint but he’s currently more of a top six or seven option rather than a top three guy in Philly. The Flyers were very deep up front when he was here but he was still relied on much more to be “the guy”.

      I’d say the trade has worked out quite well for both sides. The Kings got a big addition to their depth, became an elite franchise. The Flyers got two youngsters with high ceilings who are already part of an impressive group of young forwards and will only get better. Who knows, when (or if) the likes of Gostisbehere, Hagg, Morin, Sanheim, and Alt reach the NHL the Flyers could follow in the Kings footsteps. I think both organizations would do the deals over, knowing what they each know now.

  2. phillyphanatic77 - Aug 9, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    If Berube puts Schenn in one position (I prefer him on wing) and keeps him there for more than 3 games at a time, especially if it’s alongside G and Voracek, he’s gonna get close to 30-goals. Maybe more. Hextall wants more consistency, give him a consistent place in the lineup. We all saw the way they stunted JVR by moving him up and down the lineup, allowing little continuity. Schenn doesn’t have as high a ceiling but he’s more consistent than JVR was at the same point. Keep switching him from C to W every other game and keep being disappointed with the results.

    • flyboystransport - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:35 PM

      Just like lecavlier. ….HE CANT PLAYING LEFT WING. They tried him there 3 times and it doesn’t work. He needs to stay at center on the 2nd line and find a compliment to him and simmonds

    • Meta - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      I completely agree from a consistency standpoint. That said, i would try to keep him in a center position. That’s his natural position and i would want to see him thrive there as opposed to taking two steps back in order to take steps forward while learning LW.

    • nickfoliandynamite40 - Aug 12, 2014 at 6:28 AM

      @phillyphanatic77- The point you raise and support is fantastic and I agree 100%. Especially from a development standpoint, it is a dangerous game to move a young guy up and down lines, while having him change positions, as well.

      The only thing I would add is that whether it be LW or C, I believe the Flyers should make their minds up about which position they would like to see Schenner develop going into this season and stick with it. Sure, things such as injuries and/or trades may demand a player with the versatility Schenn has to make a switch during the season; however, barring something like that from happening, I think anyone with a job (in any career field) would agree that knowing what your job expectations on a consistent basis is much better for your approach and overall mentality to that job. Also, he’s 22- his natural position may be at C, but he’s shown he can play the wing and there’s no reason that at 22 he couldn’t develop into a very good player at the LW position.

      Personally, I’d love to see him on the same line as G. It’s much easier to develop when you have one of the best in the game at C and a guy who’s turning into a star right before our eyes (presumably) playing at RW with Voracek.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Thank you and I don’t disagree with a word of your post. I’ve heard so many Flyers fans down on Schenn (especially before this past 20 goal season) but young players need consistent goals on a consistent track. That’s how you develop them correctly. If you want Schenn to be your 2nd line center for the next 5-7 years, you tell him that, and get him completely focused on the nuances of playing down the middle (especially faceoff work). But if you want Lecavalier in that spot then tell Schenn he’s a top-6 left winger and his complete focus needs to be on that. Versatility is a great thing for Schenn to have, but you don’t do your best work when you’re getting multiple messages on different days on what your responsibilities will be. Lineups change throughout a season, it’s inevitable but going into training camp Berube and Hextall absolutely must decide Schenns future path and attempt to stick to it.

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