Unrestricted free agent defenceman Luke Schenn has found a new home. The veteran defenseman signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes. The contract is worth $2.5 million, for a $1.25 million cap hit per year. The Coyotes will be the fourth franchise that Schenn has played for in his NHL career.
Luke Schenn Signs With Coyotes
Schenn was traded on January 6th to the Los Angeles Kings from the Flyers, where he spent his last four seasons. He went to L.A. along with veteran center Vincent Lecavalier. Philadelphia retained 50% of both salaries. In 43 games with the two-time Stanley Cup champions, he amassed 163 hits and 66 blocked shots. He also added two goals and nine assists during the regular season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Schenn with the fifth overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft. Once dubbed “The Human Eraser” by colorful hockey analyst Pierre McGuire, the right-shooting defenceman became known in Toronto for his well-timed, highlight-reel hits.
Considered to be offensively limited, Schenn provided occasional flashes of offense while with the Leafs including this Bobby Orr-esque coast to coast beauty against the Boston Bruins. Overall, the former Kelowna Rocket has scored 28 goals and 128 points in 566 career games.
Original scouting reports described Schenn as an imposing, stay-at-home defender who played a mistake-free game. Despite the lack of an elite separation gear, Schenn was known for solid decision making and excellent positioning.
Going straight to the NHL after the draft, Schenn ultimately stumbled under former Leafs coach Ron Wilson, and appeared to lose the mental edge that once made him so effective and intimidating.
Trade to Philadelphia
In June of 2012, then-Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke traded the 6’2’’, 230-pound rearguard to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for former second-overall draftee, winger James van Riemsdyk.
Schenn’s tenure in Philadelphia was largely considered underwhelming. He was a healthy scratch on multiple occassions, and generally played on the bottom-pair when he did get into the lineup.
He’ll be looked at as a punishing presence that will be called on to protect the Coyotes’ young players coming through the pipeline while making the team in general harder to play against.