Friday, June 24, 2011
Posted: 6:52 p.m.
By Tim Panaccio
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. Brayden Schenn, who turns 20 in August, has played all of nine games in his young National Hockey League career.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren pegged him as the wild card and diamond in the rough among the teams stunning deal that sent captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
Its pretty crazy, Schenn said from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where he was attending Jarret Stolls golf tournament. Its a big deal. Myself and Wayne Simmonds got traded for a great player.
Its a thrill, a little bit shocking to be here Im thrilled to be part of the organization and history there. Im going into a great organization thats close to winning the Stanley Cup and thats what Im excited for.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound center is considered a genuine blue chip prospect, who could become an impact player with the Flyers down the road. What kind of impact Schenn provides this coming season will depend on the kind of minutes he plays.
He averaged 30 goals for three seasons in the Western Hockey League, playing for Brandon, plus scored 21 last year for Saskatoon.
Schenn plays the game like a young Mike Richards, said Flyer assistant GM John Paddock. In time, hes going to be a pretty darnn good offensive player.
Schenn said he feels ready to be a full-time player.
I played eight games last year and I think the World Juniors and Memorial Cup have prepared me for the next step, he said.
I try to bring the complete package and do it all. I try to play the game like Mike Richards. I try to put up points and do whatever it takes to help the team win. Thats kind of how to play.
A lot of NHL clubs would have liked to have gotten their hands on Schenn. Toronto GM Brian Burke covets him and had hoped to bring Brayden to the Maple Leafs where older brother, Luke, plays defense.
Recall, Burke had the Niedermayer brothers, Scott and Rob, on his roster in Anaheim in 2007 when the Ducks won the Cup.
In the Eastern Conference, Brayden will have the opportunity to play against Luke four times a season.
I only played against him once and to have the little battles we have ongoing, it will be kind of cool, Brayden said.
Simmonds was unavailable on Friday.
Right wing Jakub Voracek came to the Flyers, along with two draft picks, in the Jeff Carter trade.
I was pretty happy, Voracek said. I hear only great things about the Flyers organization and its an honor to play there. Im pretty excited. Im basically starting a new life and this team has a chance to win the Stanley Cup every year. Its going to be a lot of fun.
The 6-1, 205-pound Voracek wont rip off 40 goals like Carter. His range is more like 20 goals.
Yeah, well obviously Jeff Carter, when you look at his stats, I dont think you can find a player that has scored more than 120 goals in the last three seasons, said the 21-yesr-old.
Theres going to be a lot of expectations from me as well and thats why Im working hard in the summer; Im in Montreal right now and trying to get ready as much as possible, and I hope everything is going to work out well.
Voracek said he brings a physical edge to his play.
When Im on my game I like to play along the boards, he said. Im an up-and-down, up-and-down, up-and-down winger and I try to play the best I can on both ends and obviously I have to work on my shot a little bit more in this off-season, but I would say that Im more of a play-maker than a shooter or scorer.
Voracek is coming from an organization where the playoffs are rather foreign to one where playoffs are commonplace and expectations are so much higher.
Thats why you play hockey to win the Cup and its a big challenge and Im pretty excited for it, Voracek said. Its fun to go from a team that only make the playoffs one out of 10 years to, like you said, a team that makes it basically every year. Its exciting and its something thats new for me and Im going to try and help as much as possible.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TPanotchCSN.
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