What is coming back? A third-round pick in this year’s draft. It seemed a second was a bit far-fetched but a third is fine.
For years, Canucks fans have criticized them for not trading for draft picks. In this year’s draft, they got a bunch in the first four rounds and we could see them get more.
Let’s focus on Schenn here.
Schenn was originally drafted by the Maple Leafs fifth overall in 2008. There was even talk of him being a future Leafs captain and it seemed he was brought into the NHL too early as Schenn played 70 games in the 2008-09 season with the Leafs instead of being sent back to the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets. He did not live to his high draft position in Toronto and in the summer of 2012, Schenn was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for James Van Riemsdyk.
The rugged defenceman played almost four years in City of Brotherly Love before being traded with Vincent Lecavalier to the Los Angeles Kings for a 2016 third-round pick and Jordan Weal in January of 2016. That summer he signed with the Arizona Coyotes where he played two seasons before signing with the Anaheim Ducks in 2018.
But it looked like Schenn’s NHL career was over in the 2018-19 season as he was sent down to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls after eight games. It turns out, it wasn’t. The Canucks came calling and sent Michael Del Zotto to the Ducks for Schenn.
At the time, you might not have been thinking much. “Oh, just a trade for another defenceman from the 2008 first round that didn’t pan out. It’s mid for mid.” (That wasn’t a term yet.)
Sure, looking back it was a mid for mid trade in many ways. But Schenn caught the eye of Canucks fans quickly as he was paired with then-19-year-old Quinn Hughes and was throwing big hits. You might remember the late Jason Botchford starting the #DrunkOnSchenn trend on Twitter.
Schenn played 18 games in Vancouver in 2019 before heading off to the Tampa Bay Lightning. There, in a depth role, he won back-to-back Stanley Cups.
He then decided to come back to Vancouver and signed a two-year deal worth $850,000 a season. Remember, Schenn was projected as the seventh defenceman ahead of the 2021-22 season. Travis Hamonic, Tyler Myers and Tucker Poolman were ahead of him in the depth chart.
But with Hamonic sitting out early in the season due to personal reasons and Poolman getting injured, Schenn emerged as a fan favourite.
He started playing top-four minutes and got a lot of time with Hughes. Schenn was never a puck-moving defenceman and was never going to be Hughes’ long-term partner. He even was the Canucks best right-handed defenceman for a while which was really saying something about their defensive core.
Schenn played with a lot of heart. With his big minutes, he didn’t look that bad defensively and of course, threw some big hits. In fact, he became the NHL’s all-time hit leader for a defenceman in December and now has 3098 throughout his career.
Schenn is the one-man wrecking crew. His hits were harder than a punch from Goku.
He was also never afraid to drop the gloves, especially when an opponent would even lay a finger on Hughes.
Schenn was a cult hero for Canucks fans. He was never the best player on the team but the fans loved him. It is a great story of how it looked like his NHL career was over four years ago to becoming a fan favourite with the Canucks. Now, he returns to the place where he started his NHL career and he and the Leafs will certainly face the Lightning in round one.
Schenn is an example to never quit even when it looks like it’s all over. It’s amazing how he rebuilt his career in Vancouver. He emerged as a great teammate and mentor and a player who gave his all on the ice.
This might not be the end of Schenn Daddy with the Canucks. Who knows? He might re-sign with them in the summer and he won’t be expensive!
So long and all the best in Toronto Schenn Daddy. Hopefully, this won’t be the end.