5FW Originals: Phantoms’ Schenn Maintaining Positive Attitude In AHL Return

Brayden Schenn could put up big numbers in his return to the AHL (Photo: Mike Ashmore)

Brayden Schenn’s time in the American Hockey League was always supposed to be pretty brief.

While still with the Los Angeles Kings organization, the-then-19-year-old played in just seven November games for the Manchester Monarchs before getting sent back to juniors.

Then, after being dealt to the Flyers prior to the start of the 2011-12 campaign, he started the year in Adirondack and played a total of seven games over two separate, brief stints. He scored at least one point in every contest — highlighted by a hat trick in his second game of the year against Bridgeport — and put the league behind him for good in late November.

Or so he thought.

After spending the majority of last season with Philadelphia — he posted a 12-6-18 line in 54 games, and also scored nine points in 11 playoff contests — Schenn finds himself back with the Phantoms thanks to the lockout. With no NHL to play in for anyone, the Saskatoon native will spend the foreseeable future in the AHL.

“I’ve got a positive attitude to have to come down here,” Schenn told The Trentonian after Adiriondack’s Friday afternoon preseason game against Albany.

“I’m trying to develop and get better. There’s really nothing you can do about the lockout situation, so it’s an opportunity to play in a good, highly-skilled league. It’s a younger league too, and I’m looking forward to getting the season going.”

After a 12 points in seven games stretch last year, Schenn is confident — a common theme for him, as you’ll see — heading into this season, but knows it won’t be as easy as he made it look just a season ago.

“It’s going to be real challenging,” Schenn said.

“It’s a good league, and every team is going to have four lines that can play and shut-down D-men. I’m just looking forward to getting the season going and started off right in Adirondack. We’ve got a good group of high-skill guys, it’s a pretty young team. I think guys getting sent down is only going to help, and we’ve had some key additions over the summer like Danny Syvret. He’s a big veteran and he’s highly skilled and smart on the blue line, and that’s going to help. I think the team can be just as good as any.”

And so too was the Flyers team he was on last year, advancing to the second round of the playoffs before bowing out to the eventual Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Devils. Schenn got off to a slow start in Philadelphia last season, going without a point in his first eight games.

But he scored his first career NHL goal in the Winter Classic against the New York Rangers, and finished the season strong, collecting two multi-goal games despite limited ice time on a talented team. The difference? Confidence.

“Confidence is a big thing,” he said.

“It was my first year in the NHL, and you don’t really know what to expect. The Flyers are a good team, and you’ve got to fight for your ice and fight for your opportunity. The more confident I got, I think the better I played. It was a tough start with injuries and everything, but I’ve put that behind me. I’m just thinking positive now, and I thought I had a strong second half last year. I worked my way in, got a good opportunity and if or when the lockout ends, I’m looking to go over there and prove myself again and play big minutes this year.”

Now, Schenn — along with fellow big Flyers prospect Sean Couturier — finds himself in a situation where he can get big minutes and continue his development as a player, perhaps even better than he would have been able to were he at the game’s highest level.

“When you’re with the Flyers, there are some big names up there like Hartnell and Giroux, and last year, Jagr. You had to fight for your minutes,” he said.

“And I’m not saying that you come down here and you don’t have to, but I think I’m going to get a good opportunity to prove myself and play a lot if I play well. For me and other guys, that’s what we’re looking forward to doing.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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One Response to “5FW Originals: Phantoms’ Schenn Maintaining Positive Attitude In AHL Return”

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    5FW Originals: Phantoms’ Schenn Maintaining Positive Attitude In AHL Return | 5 For Writing by Mike Ashmore

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