His WHL season, and likely career, is over, but if there’s one thing Brayden Schenn has learned this year, it’s that there’s always another team to play for.
Starting the season with the Los Angeles Kings, Schenn has bounced to the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs and used the World Junior Championship to split time between the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings and Saskatoon Blades.
Has he come full circle?
With the Blades being bounced in an abrupt four game sweep at the hands of the Kootenay Ice, Schenn is eligible to return to to the Monarchs in time for their first round bout with the Binghamton Senators. The native of Saskatoon, SK had three goals and seven points in seven games during his stint in the league in November. Game 1 of Manchester’s series with Binghamton gets underway Thursday.
Perhaps more interesting is the discussion the Kings must be having internally about bringing their former first round pick from 2010 back to Los Angeles.
Schenn is eligible to return to the Kings and, in the wake of losing top centre Anze Kopitar to a broken ankle, may be just what the doctor ordered in California. Though the six-foot-one, 190-pound forward had just two assists in his first eight game stint in the NHL, Schenn has been nothing short of dominant against his WHL peers and could conceivably carry that growth over to the pro playoff environment.
Should Schenn suit up for two or more playoff games, he’ll surpass the required 10 game mark to burn the first year off his three-year entry level deal inked just 13 months ago. Is that a move general manager Dean Lombardi wants to make on a player who averaged south of 12 minutes in ice per game just five months ago?
Lombardi, like any NHL executive, will not hesitate to do so if he thinks it puts his Kings club in a better position to upend the San Jose Sharks in the first round.
If there’s one lesson for Schenn this season, it’s that the Kings will use him wherever they see fit.
And right now, that may have Major Junior’s most dominant player leaving for Los Angeles with skates in hand.
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!