BY BRANDON MURPHY
Brayden Schenn finally had the breakout season Flyers fans were waiting for last year, putting up career highs in goals, assists and (obviously) points. Schenn established himself as a key member of the Flyers core, but his 2016-2017 season wasn’t as good as his point totals made it appear to be.
Schenn is often tossed around in Flyers trade talks with the likes of Sean Couturier.
That being said, Schenn doesn’t bring as much to the table when compared to Couturier. He is great on the power play, an area that saw him score 17 of his 25 goals, tied with Alex Ovechkin and Nikita Kucherov for the league lead.
While the provided scoring on the man-advantage is nice, the Flyers needed more scoring at even strength and Schenn just isn’t the 5-on-5 play driving forward the Flyers had hoped for. More than half of his points came on the power play and that’s not what coaches and general managers typically want on their team. That is one of the main reasons why the hatred Sean Couturier receives for his lack of production is misdirected. Not saying it should be directed towards Schenn by any means, but his numbers were definitely inflated due to playing on the first power play unit.
Schenn also had subpar Corsi and Fenwick numbers. In hindsight, they don’t look awful (49.3 CF% – 49.7 FF%), but when you notice Schenn started in the offensive zone more than 57% of the time, the statistics are telling. Last season, he had similar possession metrics (50.9 CF% – 49.8 FF%), but only started in the offensive zone 53% of the time.
Schenn did have a decent season in terms of points, putting up 25 goals and 30 assists, he still needs to find his even-strength production and play a better two-way game. When he’s on the wing, Schenn’s statistics are comparable with the metrics of a third liner.
There is still time for the 2011 fifth overall pick to turn it around, he should be surrounded with more talent next season and could definitely go back to the player he was in 2015-2016. Schenn is entering the second season of his new four year, $20.5 million deal.