HL:Schenn named WHL's player of the month; Kings prospect top scorer in February@ - USATODAY.com
Saskatoon Blades forward Brayden Schenn has been named the Western Hockey League's player of the month for February. The 19-year-old centre led all WHL scorers with 13 goals and 32 points in 13 games last month. [...H]e's registered a point in 18 of 20 WHL games since being returned from a stint with the NHL team.
Schenn's last homestand - Junior Hockey - Yahoo! Sports
[...] Since the blockbuster deal with the Brandon Wheat Kings that cost Blades GM Lorne Molleken four draft picks – two first and two second-rounders – and two 15-year-old prospects, Schenn has been on a tear averaging more than two points per game with 19 goals and 27 assists in 21 games with Saskatoon. [...] At the time he was sent back to junior, Schenn told reporters that only the future would tell whether the Kings made the right decision in sending him back to the WHL. And even with the power of hindsight and all he has achieved in junior of late, Schenn said as far as he’s concerned the jury is still out. "I honestly still don’t know," said Schenn, when asked if the demotion was the right call. "I’ve come down here and I’m having a lot of fun, gained some confidence and stuff like that, so for me I’m just trying to get better and prove myself and hopefully be ready (for pro) next year. That’s what I’m working towards."
As far as Kings co-director of amateur scouting Mike Futa is concerned, the 19-year-old would have spent the year in Manchester if not for the CHL-NHL rules preventing Schenn from playing in the AHL. "Ideally he was ready to play," said Futa. "(Kings GM Dean Lombardi) found a way to get him down to the AHL for a two-week conditioning stint. I saw him play in Manchester and he was certainly ready for that level, but that’s not our rule to change. He’s not eligible to play at that level."
Even after getting a taste of the NHL high life with chartered jets and five-star hotels, Schenn remains grounded while biding his time for another shot at the pros. On this day, he’s napping on the team bus during a quick five-hour road trip to Edmonton, when Molleken wakes him to take a phone call from a reporter. And while he can be heard grumbling about being disturbed, once on the phone Schenn is cheerful and talkative. "Everyone knows the planes are a lot nicer and whatnot," said Schenn while on the bus. "You have to go through these times to motivate yourself to try and get back to the NHL. "I guess I had a taste of (the NHL) briefly. I got to know what it’s like for a little bit and I definitely enjoyed it and I want to get back there as soon as possible, so I guess you could say it’s a little extra motivation."
The Kings demoted him to junior in December [...] "A lot of kids wouldn’t be able to handle that disappointment, it would carry over and affect their play," said Canadian world junior head coach Dave Cameron. "He came in and you could tell there was that passion and excitement. There was absolutely no, ‘Poor me’ or no pity (saying), ‘I should be in the NHL.’ He was just a real pro." [...] Schenn captured the attention of the nation, tying the Canadian scoring record at the tournament with 18 points. He was named the tournament MVP despite playing with a separated shoulder suffered in the quarter-final game against Switzerland. [...]
One of the areas the Kings asked Schenn to work on in junior was his overall defence[...]. "The hard thing to do – when teams trade 19 assets to get you at the junior level – they’re not trading for you to be Frank Selke," said Futa. "But his game away from the puck and his attention to detail is better. I think his game the way you saw it at the world juniors is much more indicative of where he’ll be as a pro."
[...] His name was bandied about by TV pundits at the NHL trade deadline with Kings GM Dean Lombardi having to state publicly that his fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft wasn’t going anywhere. "The bottom line is he was never available," said Futa. "We were never offering him up, but any player of value that was available at any stretch, the first person anybody asked about was Brayden Schenn – he was a non-starter as far as Dean Lombardi was concerned."