27-Year-Old Defenseman – Arizona Coyotes
Luke Schenn Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract with the Coyotes in July 2016.
Schenn registered an assist, two blocked shots and a minor penalty during Sunday's loss to Carolina.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Schenn agreed to a two-year deal with Arizona after washing out of Philadelphia and playing half a season with the Kings. The 6-foot-2 defenseman may fare better in the Western Conference, where his size can be more advantageous, but heíll have to earn his minutes on a stacked Coyotes blue line. When everyone is healthy, the Coyotes may have to carry eight defensemen, and right now Schenn offers limited upside as a candidate for the third pairing whose primary value stems from the many checks he's willing to dish out.
There's not a lot of glamor in what the elder Schenn does -- there seldom is in his stay-at-home style. But what he lacks in scoring skill, he makes up for in physicality. Since entering the league, the former Leaf has been among the league leaders in hits and has been incredibly difficult to play against. Nonetheless, from a fantasy perspective, his value is limited. Unless your league counts hits, there are a number of defenseman available that will deliver more.
Luke Schenn ranked third in the league with 187 hits last season. The physical defenseman doesn't collect a whole bunch of points, but he's a valuable asset in leagues that score for hits.
The Flyers picked up the elder Schenn this off season from the Maple Leafs to add some depth on the blue line. Heís likely to see improvements from his last two 22-point seasons that produced a minus-7 and a minus-6 rating with the defensively challenged Leafs. With more firepower and a solid puck possession team in front of him, Schenn could see a career year with the Flyers in 2012-13. Remember his name in the later rounds of deeper drafts, especially those in keeper leagues.
Schenn's fantasy value is in the details. More of a shutdown guy, Schenn will never get the chance to show his underrated offensive talents. But he will do his job and get the puck out away from his goalie and out of his zone with punishing effectiveness. He's the perfect number four defender on a good hockey team whose solid, steady play delivers value in the more obscure fantasy categories of hits, blocked shots and TOI. Only a fool would draft him for anything more.
Schenn is already a top-four defender at the ripe old age of 19 and one of the few untouchables on the Toronto roster. He's maturing into a shutdown defender in the mold of Adam Foote and that may be valuable in some formats. But most single-year leagues shouldn't bother.
Some day, Schenn might be as good as Adam Foote was in his prime. But right now, he needs to spend another year in junior and then apprentice a year in the AHL to build the right foundation. We just hope the Leafs donít rush him to the NHL and ruin him the way they did with so many other young defenders over the years.