Friday, January 16, 2015

Brayden Schenn Swatch Card

You can't say things have gone particularly well for the Philadelphia Flyers this season, but that was to be expected when Kimmo Timonen was lost for the season with blood clot issues; the team was already depth-deprived on the back end (a situation that will get better in the next few years with three solid prospects coming up, but this year and the next will prove difficult, with sub-par talent past Mark Streit and Braydon Coburn, who themselves are no longer quite at their peak).

So the team was going to have to score a lot of goals to win a lot of games - and they just haven't. Many have pointed to certain players (Vincent Lecavalier more often than not, though I still believe he can be useful when cast in the right part), but Jeremy Roenick seems to think the Flyers should trade away their promising young forwards Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Brayden Schenn, because they aren't ''consistent''.

A lot of people seem to be expecting more of Schenn in particular, the fifth-overall pick of the 2009 draft - ahead of the likes of Oliver Ekman-Larsson (6th), Nazem Kadri (7th), Nick Leddy (16th), Simon Després (30th), Kyle Clifford (35th), Jakob Silfverberg (39th), Jeremy Morin (45th), Robin Lehner (46th), Brandon Pirri (59th), Tomas Tatar (60th), Tyson Barrie (64th), David Savard (94th), Craig Smith (98th), Marcus Foligno (104th), Sami Vatanen (106th), Mike Hoffman (130th), Gabriel Dumont (139th), and Darcy Kuemper (161st). And they're quick to point out that it's been nearly five years.

Except consistency isn't an issue: he has 10 goals and 27 points in 45 games so far this season, pretty much the exact amount (8 goals and 26 points in 47 games) as in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, and practically the same pace as last season's 41 points (though on 20 goals) in 82 games.

Also, the kid's barely 23 years old - he was born in August, allowing him to be drafted among a class of players much older than he is. 40 points a year not playing on a first line two or three years before hitting their prime (generally ages 25 to 32 for forwards) is pretty impressive to me.

Also, he's barely a minus-2 this season - on the injury-and-depth-deprived Flyers. 29 other teams would want his services should the Flyers decide to pass, even the Los Angeles Kings, who traded him to Philadelphia in the first place (along with Wayne Simmonds, for Mike Richards and Rob Bordson).

He might not have the hardest or most accurate shot, nor the best vision and passing ability, but he skates well and fast, his acceleration is impressive, and he'll plow his way through with force to get the puck where he wants it to, be it on someone's else's stick or behind the opposition's goalie. The more experience, confidence and bulk he gains in the next couple of years, the truer that last sentence will become. I'm not saying he's the next Ryan Getzlaf, but if you can't afford the actual guy (or, considering he's already taken and signed to a long-term contract), getting Schenn won't hurt your feelings so much.

All those reasons explain why I haven't yet traded this beautiful die-cast 2011-12 Crown Royale card by Panini (#18 in the Heirs To The Throne sub-set) despite not having any other ''special'' card of his in my collection (from what I recall):
It features him wearing the Flyers' current/retro orange (home) uniform, with a white game-worn swatch.

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