Newly acquired defenseman Luke Schenn positions the Flyers well on defense.
The Flyers draft class was kind of an unusual one. The Flyers passed on a couple of highly touted defensemen to draft a player at #20 in Scott Laughton that most thought would have been there for the Flyers in the second round. They went on to take 4 defenseman, a goalie and a winger with the rest of their picks.
I wrote on Friday that the drafting of Laughton indicated to me that the Flyers were going to make other moves. Sure enough, they did. Executing a trade that had been rumored since January, the Flyers sent winger James van Riemsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Luke Schenn. It’s a solid move that will certainly bolster the Flyers’ defense corps.
Some fear that the move will leave the Flyers short on offense, but I recall the same argument last year when the Flyers traded Carter and Richards. The Flyers actually scored more goals this year than last. And in the end, JVR scored 11 goals this year and was out of action for long stretches. It’s not like we’re trying to replace Claude Giroux here.
Ultimately, the draft is a crap shoot. No one knows if the defenseman the Flyers selected will pan out. But to negate the possibility that they won’t, the Flyers made a solid move to insure the next couple of years on defense. If Matt Carle signs an extension with the team, they should be pretty well set.
They’ll also have plenty of cap space to add a couple or several pieces, depending on how they want to play it. With Pronger’s money moved to the long term injured reserved list, the Flyers could have about $11 million under the cap to pursue free agents. That’s not too shabby.
The Flyers should be well positioned for the future.