Hockey is one of those sports that fans gets really, really involved with. Someone becomes a star player, develops a fan following, the player leaves, but the fans still love him. Kimmo Timonen had a large portion of the Flyers faithful root him on when he won a Stanley Cup with Chicago. Claude Giroux, despite playing Ottawa, still has a legion’s worth of fans in Philly. Brayden Schenn is another one.
Schenn had played six years in Philly after arriving as part of a flurry of trades that also brought Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek to town, cleared enough cap space to sign Ilya Bryzgalov, and trade away Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. Schenn became a prolific scorer and fan favorite before being traded to St Louis in 2019. As a member of the Blues, he’s been an NHL All-Star, won a Stanley Cup, and has just recently been named captain of the team.
When we look back at that trade, was it worth it? What did we get in return? Well, for starters, for Schenn, the Flyers received St. Louis’s 2017 first round pick, the 2018 first round pick, and forward Jori Lehtera.
Let’s look at Lehtera first. In his rookie season, he scored 14 goals in 75 games. In his remaining 232 games over four years, he scored only 20 more. He played two seasons in Philly and didn’t really do much to impress anyone. Not much of a surprise why St. Louis was trying to ditch him.
What about those two draft picks? The 2017 first rounder became Morgan Frost. The 2018 pick would become Joel Farabee.
The Flyers are hoping that Frost and Farabee will become part of the backbone of the new generation of Flyers. Frost scored more points after Jan. 1 than any other member of the team. Farabee had shown flashes of brilliance in the past and is looking to shake off any lingering rust from injuries sustained before last season. Overall, in parts of four seasons, Frost has scored 26 goals while Farabee has 60 in the same amount of time. Both players will be 24 this upcoming season.
As for Schenn, he is now 32. Since the trade, he has scored 131 goals with 210 assists; roughly 100 more points in just one more game than he had in his time with Philadelphia. He’s been given a chance to be a star, he’s in the prime of his career, and he is showing he is one of the league’s more consistent forwards and great team leaders.
It’s too early to tell if the Flyers will win this trade. While Schenn has helped the Blues to win their first ever Stanley Cup Championship in 2019, the team still remains competitive. Adding Kevin Hayes this offseason should help them. However, you could also argue that by trading Schenn, the Flyers lost a LOT of firepower that they have yet to consistently replace. Perhaps had he been on the team in 2019-20, the Flyers could’ve gotten through the COVID bubble and won it all. Perhaps not. We’ll never know for sure.
The jury is still out on Frost and Farabee. If, within the next five-to-ten years they will be atop a party bus going down Broad Street with the Stanley Cup in tow, it will all be worth it. If both players join the cast of recent Flyers first round busts (German Rubtsov, Jay O’Brien, Nolan Patrick…), then we gave away a great player for nothing…again.