What To Expect From Brayden Schenn
When dealing with more veteran players, it becomes less clear what will happen during the season based on preseason. Guys can score a bunch in preseason and then go cold and vice versa.
With Brayden Schenn, it won’t be so much about pure numbers in preseason, but more how he fits in with this team. Like many of the other players listed in this article, Schenn has some questions about him.
The main one will be where he plays. The Blues had plenty of winger depth and though Schenn is an upgrade no matter what, you have to believe they brought him in to be center.
The team needs him to be a strong player up the middle. Schenn wants to play center, but these situations have a way of going however the coaching staff thinks will benefit everyone.
As a fan, I’m not going to be too happy if we have Schenn on the wing and Fabbri at center. I think that just goes against the more likely successful scenario, but that’s why I’m not in charge of the team.
Beyond just the general position, the Blues need to know where he fits into the line combinations. Schenn probably is not a top line center, but, at this point, is Paul Stastny?
On the flip side, Schenn is putting up pretty decent numbers to this point in his career. However, if he gets placed on the top line, is 50 points going to be good enough for fans? That question is less about the team figuring things out than fan acceptance, but still.
The question that the team and the player must answer is whether or not he can be a consistent force at five-on-five. Of the 25 goals Schenn scored in 2016-17, only eight came at full strength.
The Blues need that kind of contribution for their awful powerplay, but they can’t have Schenn be a one-trick pony, so to speak. Even if he is not scoring, he cannot be a ghost when the team is at even strength. The Blues have had enough of those guys in recent memory.
Also, what kind of defensive player will Schenn be for the Blues? Plus/minus is not a true telltale sign of defensive accountability, but Schenn has alternated plus and minus seasons.
If he keeps up that trend, he’ll have a plus year this season. Still, the Blues need a consistent effort from him. I’m not talking winning the Selke Trophy, but his line needs to be defensively responsible.
There are lots of questions about this team. Some are more important than others and I’m sure each individual fan has their own set they want answered.
That is part of the fun of preseason though. You wonder how it will all come together. Sometimes you get pleasant surprises you did not expect, sometimes it turns out exactly as you figured – for good or bad.
This is going to be a very entertaining Blues season. Hopefully we get a very good indication of how it’ll pan out by the time camp ends.