As I pored over the hokey headlines this morning, I came upon Sam Carchidi’s article about how the Flyers are in no rush to promote Brayden Schenn.
Kudos, Flyers. You’ve made the difficult but correct choice.
Through four games, Schenn has tallied eight points, split evenly between goals and assists. As Carchidi wrote, he is “refining his game by playing in all situations for the Phantoms.”
Perfect. This is exactly what he should be doing.
Schenn is invaluable to this organization and the best place for him to be at the moment is in the AHL, where he can play big minutes, work on every aspect of his game, and whet his appetite for league-wide destruction.
Let Schenn dominate the AHL for 20 or so games — barring any unforeseeable injuries that might earn him an earlier call-up — and he will build up a full head of steam so that, when his time in the NHL comes, he’s raring to go, full of confidence and a desire to prove just how good he actually is.
To start the 2009 season, the Flyers left Claude Giroux in the AHL for 33 games, where he tallied 34 points, also split evenly between goals and assists, before setting him loose in the NHL, where he racked up 27 points in his 42-game rookie campaign.
Calling Schenn up now, as much as fans may want to see him don the orange and black, would be a case of fitting a square peg into the round hole. There’s no room for him and he would be buried in the bottom six, competing against fellow rookies Matt Read and Sean Couturier for ice time.
It’s better to let this situation play itself out naturally. Soon enough, the Flyers will learn which lines have chemistry and which could use some tweaking. The team will know whether Couturier should remain with the big club or returned to juniors. Matt Read will either come crashing back down to earth or keep up his remarkable pace.
Plenty can change over the next few weeks to open up an opportunity for Schenn to showcase his skills with the big club. In the meantime, he’s continually making forward progress with the Phantoms and that’s an undeniable benefit.