Player evaluation: Schenn
This season: 8 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 0 penalty minutes, 11:15 average ice time.
The good: The Kings couldn’t get rid of Schenn in training camp. He wouldn’t let them. The thought, throughout camp, was that Schenn would return to his junior team when final roster cuts were made, but Schenn stuck around. The Kings ultimately decided to send him back to junior, but not after a prolonged eight-game trial and some significant debate and discussion within the organization. Schenn went on to have a fantastic season after his junior-level trade from Brandon to Saskatchewan.
The bad: With every multi-point game that Schenn played in the WHL, fans and hockey pundits salivated at the possibility of Schenn joining the Kings. The “will they or won’t they?” subplot involving Schenn and the Kings, during the first round of the playoffs, became a somewhat bizarre and unlikely sideshow. The Kings, however, felt that Schenn’s defense was not yet NHL-caliber, and certainly not NHL-playoff-caliber, and that might have showed when Schenn had a minus-5 rating in Manchester’s Game 7 AHL playoff loss.
Going forward: Is this the year? Schenn is finally eligible to play in the AHL full-time, but is he ready to make the jump to the NHL? The Kings might tip their hand in July, when they decide whether to re-sign veteran unrestricted free agent Michal Handzus. If they let Handzus walk, Schenn will have the inside track to a third- or fourth-line center spot. If Handzus returns, Schenn will be in competition with forwards such as Brad Richardson, Trevor Lewis, Andrei Loktionov and Oscar Moller.