Originally written October 19, 2011 on Buzz On Broad:
It came as a surprise to many that Sean Couturier, not Brayden Schenn, was kept on the Flyers roster at the end of training camp. Couturier played well during the preseason, and Schenn suffered a minor shoulder injury, but Schenn is two years older and is projected as the better prospect at this point. However, the Flyers went with Couturier and I don’t think they’ve regretted it, as the 18-year-old has been great defensively and scored his first NHL goal last night. Now it’s time for Schenn to show his worth. The Flyers added Schenn to the NHL roster earlier today and lent forwards Harry Zolnierczyk and Zac Rinaldo back to the Adirondack Phantoms. The move comes after just 4 games with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, where Schenn exploded offensively. The 20-year-old super prospect scored four goals and tallied four assists in those four games, and finished with a plus/minus of plus three. With domination like that, it was just a matter of time before Schenn got his shot at the NHL level. With Jody Shelley finishing his suspension last night in Ottawa, it created an opportunity for the Flyers to move some pieces around and ultimately get Schenn a roster spot. Shelley’s salary was obviously still counted under the salary cap, so the team was handcuffed for the first 5 games and couldn’t bring Schenn and his $1.69 million cap hit (for this season) to the roster just yet. Now that Shelley is back, the Flyers could send Zac Rinaldo ($555 K) and Harry Zolnierczyk ($900 K) to the Phantoms and have just enough room to have Schenn on the roster, and that’s exactly what they did. Shelley will split time with Andreas Nodl in Zac Rinaldo's place on the fourth line, while it remains to be seen where Schenn will play. It’s fair to say that the top two lines will remain the same, so that leaves the third or fourth line for the rookie. Since Schenn is a skill player, it also seems unlikely that Peter Laviolette would put him on the fourth line with checkers Max Talbot and Shelley, so let’s assume he plays on the third line. They can either pair him with fellow rookies Sean Couturier and Matt Read for a very talented all-rookie line, or push Couturier or Read to the fourth line and work from there. The most likely third and fourth lines are as follows: Third Line: LW- Hartnell C- Schenn RW- Read Fourth Line: LW- Shelley C- Couturier RW-Talbot For the latest Flyers news, follow Buzz on Broad Flyers beat writer on Twitter @CJBurns215
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