The Maple Leafs made headlines at the trade deadline this year by acquiring a whopping six players. While Ryan O’Reilly and Jake McCabe stole most of the attention, there’s not a doubt in my mind that the coolest story was the re-acquisition of defenseman Luke Schenn.
If you were watching the team pre-2010, you’ll remember the early days of Schenn and how he was supposed to be the saviour of the Maple Leafs’ defensive corps. Well, if there’s one way to ensure that your top defensive prospect doesn’t pan out, it’s by handling his development the way the Leafs did with Schenn’s.
Drafted fifth overall in 2008, he made the Maple Leafs lineup out of training camp two months later when he probably should have been returned to the WHL for further development. He was thrust into a bad situation and relied on far too much to help a disastrous Leafs defense that needed way more than the services of an 18 year-old rookie.
His over-usage early on in his career contributed to his inability to find his footing with the team, and he was eventually traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for James van Riemsdyk. Schenn’s career from that point featured stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks, two Cup runs with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a season and a half with the Vancouver Canucks, and of course, the trade that eventually brought him back to where it all beg …
Author: Alex Hobson / The Leafs Nation