Originally written on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 6/26/14

With a 3pm roster deadline just a few hours away, General Manager Paul Holmgren has all but finalized the Flyers’ regular season roster.

Some of the moves have come as a surprise, including placing veteran penalty killer Blair Betts on waivers yesterday. Another move that came off as a surprise was placing defenseman Matt Walker on waivers, since Walker is well liked by the coaching staff and it seems like there would have been enough cap space for him to be on the NHL roster.

The move that fans seem most upset or surprised by, however, was the demotion of rookie Brayden Schenn to the Phantoms.

Schenn seemed like a lock to be the team’s third line center coming out of camp, with talent on both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice. He played well defensively in the preseason, and was used in all situations, including the penalty kill. However, a minor shoulder injusry that kept him out of the final two preseason games may have been the deciding factor.

With fellow rookies Sean Couturier and Matt Read having more impressive, and healthy, preseasons, Schenn is the right choice of the three to be left off the NHL roster to start the season. Couturier is too young to be demoted to Adirondack, so it’s either the Flyers or his junior team, Drummondville (QMJHL). Read has been far too impressive offensively (7 points, tied 3rd in NHL) to not start the season with the big club.

Starting the season with the Phantoms could benefit Schenn tremendously, and this isn’t the first time the Flyers have gone this route with a projected future star. Claude Giroux was expected to make the NHL roster out of camp at the beginning of the 2008-2009 season, but had a disappointing preseason and was demoted to the Phantoms for the beginning of the season.

Giroux adapted extremely well to professional hockey while with the Phantoms, scoring 34 points (17G, 17A) in 33 games played with the club. He was named Rookie of the Month that December, scoring eight goals and tallying six assists in just eight games. After watching G adapt and consequently dominate the AHL, the Flyers felt it was time to let him shine in the NHL.

Giroux was called up shortly after Christmas, and the rest is history.

It is very likely that Schenn follows this same path, as he obviously has a tremendous amount of potential and isn’t far away from tapping into it. In fact, Schenn could be called up sooner than expected if Sean Couturier struggles in his first ten games with the Flyers. Couturier can play up to 10 games and still be sent back to his junior team, according to rules in the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Be sure to check back in with Buzz on Broad later today for an in-depth season preview, including projected lines, player profiles, the final roster, and much more.

You can find Buzz on Broad Flyers Beat Writer C.J. Burns on Twitter at @CJBurns215

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