Brayden Schenn hasnt yet secured a spot on the Flyers roster, but hes circled a few of the teams important fall dates on his calendar nonetheless.
The 19-year-old center whom the Flyers acquired when they traded Mike Richards to the L.A. Kings isnt the only member of his family whos found success in hockey. His older brother Luke is a defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Flyers preseason games against the Maple Leafs could present the brothers with their first chance for an on-ice family reunion of sorts.
If, that is, Schenn is able to make the Flyers' roster as he's expected to.
I havent played him in three years, A smiling Schenn said of his brother. So Im looking forward to getting the opportunity, hopefully, and playing him.
Schenn, who is taking part in the Flyers development camp that runs through next week at Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., is considered the prospect most likely to earn a full-time spot on the team's roster. Hes one of only a handful of participants with NHL experience, and hes already received high praise from the teams brass.
Of course, Schenn making the opening day roster isnt a far-fetched idea, either. Though he played just eight games with the Kings last year, before the season kicked off, he was largely expected to make it into the NHL, and stay there. But in September 2010, he suffered a knee injury while training with his junior team and though there was no severe structural damage, he had trouble rebounding from the setback.
He did, however, make the most of the time he spent traveling with his Kings teammates.
I was there for three months or something like that, Schenn said. I played eight games, I was practicing and bag skating on game days, stuff like that. It was good though, to be out there and get the experience.
On Wednesday, Schenn was just one of about 40 players taking part in basic stickhandling and shooting exercises before a sizable crowd of fans. While he didnt necessarily stand out on ice (and was out-muscled in front of the net in some of the more physical drills), he was the main attraction in the locker room after the skates conclusion.
Its obviously a little different, the fan base and media in L.A., the media wasnt as big, Schenn said. Coming here, its a good hockey market, a good fan base. Just looking around, you want to be a part of that, and you want fans to care a lot and have expectations on you. Im just looking forward to it.
Schenn came to Philadelphia along with Kings teammate Wayne Simmonds in the blockbuster deal that shocked the city and sent the Flyers captain to the Western Conference. But when asked about whether being known as the guy who Richards was traded for added any additional pressure to an already high-intensity situation, Schenn was quick to say it didnt.
And, he added, his goal with the Flyers is simple.
I just want to get my foot in and be a full 82-game player this season, he said.
If it happens, hell be ready for it. Schenn roomed with former Flyer Justin Williams in L.A., and is grateful for the advice about Philadelphia Williams was able to give him once he learned he'd been traded. That, combined with the advice about playing in a big, hockey-hungry market from his brother, has set him up with a confidence that hell succeed in the big league when the time comes.
And based on what general manager Paul Holmgren says that Schenns chances of starting out with the team are high it's likely the young center will get a shot at anchoring the teams third line, a spot left open by Richards departure. But he's not taking the opportunity for granted.
Theres a lot of work to be done, Schenn said. Hopefully therell be some opportunity there for me, and Im just going to try to take full advantage of it. Nothing comes for free, its just one step at a time. Im here for now at development camp, just trying to get better and working on little things.
E-mail Sarah Baicker at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @SBaickerCSN.
Related: Schenn, Couturier highlight Flyers prospect camp Panaccio: New-look Flyers not necessarily better