The Philadelphia Flyers managed to sign one of the better free agents available on the market, when they agreed to a five-year contract with veteran center Vincent Lecavalier. Whether you agree or disagree with the contract, it’s tough to argue that the signing doesn’t make the Flyers better.
One player in particular that it could benefit is Brayden Schenn. While the signing could force Schenn out to the wing, where he’s had less success than he has in the middle, having the presence of Lecavalier could benefit him greatly. Coming off of his first full, healthy season, Schenn obviously has a bright future with the organization.
Schenn appeared in 47 games for the Flyers in 2013, a nice health rebound after missing much of 2011-12 because of concussion issues. In those 47 games, he posted 26 points, adding up to a point per game total of 0.55. He bounced between the middle and the wing in totaling eight goals and 18 assists.
Heading into the new season, it’s likely that Schenn will remain in the top six for the Flyers, but it won’t be in the middle. It’ll be out on the wing of Vinny Lecavalier. Despite initial rumors that he could join Claude Giroux on the top line, it’s impossible to think Lecavalier will line up anywhere but that no. 2 center spot.
Which will benefit Schenn. Having a player with the veteran experience that Vinny brings to the table should do wonders for a young player like Schenn. He can win faceoffs and he’s an excellent playmaker. Feeding Schenn out on the wing should help lead to an increase in production for the 21-year-old forward.
Lecavalier could also help to mentor Schenn as a center. Schenn hasn’t been particularly successful in the faceoff circle, but his skill set does open his game up for him to be more successful in the middle. So if he suits up as a no. 3 center, playing behind Lecavalier will also benefit him.
Any way this ends up working out for the Flyers should benefit Schenn. Having a player like Lecavalier around not only improves your team because of what he brings to the table, but the effect he has on others. Brayden Schenn should be a perfect example of that this season.