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09-22-2011, 05:26 PM
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Schenn, Couturier new top prospects for Philadelphia Flyers

This was on the front page, and I figured it belonged here. To read the full article go to the link.

"It will be years before hockey historians decide whether the Flyers made the right decision shipping out their two proven star centers for futures. The answer is never easy or straight forward, but Flyers' General Manager Paul Holmgren felt the moves to trade Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were vital to the organization's future. The consequence is a prospect pool front-loaded with marquee forward talent.

The rest of the additions to the pool by means of draft and free agency add a variety of size and talent to a pool that had become stagnant with underachievers and disappointments. The result is a prospect pool and future from which the Flyers' organization can hope for great things as opposed to just a few fringe NHLers and role players.

1. (NR) Brayden Schenn, C, 8.5C
Acquired via trade with Los Angeles, June 23rd, 2011

20-year-old Brayden Schenn stands at the top of the world of hockey prospects for a very good reason. He managed almost two points per game while in the WHL and notched 18 points in just seven games at the World Juniors. He not only averaged over two and a half points per game but also tied a World Junior Championships record for most points by a Canadian player. He also scored at a point-per-game pace in seven AHL games as well as earning his first two NHL points during an eight game stint with the Los Angeles Kings. Then he was traded for former Selke runner-up and captain of the Philadelphia Flyers Mike Richards.

The past 365 days have been an adventure for Schenn, who seems assured the position of third line center on the Flyers' opening game roster. The rest will be up to Schenn. He has been tested and has dominated at every possible level with only the NHL standing before him. With the talent, work ethic, and two-way play to make a significant impact at the NHL, it is only a matter of time before he feels right at home as one of the future leaders of this young Flyers' forward core.

2. (NR) Sean Couturier, C, 8.5C
Drafted 1st round, 8th overall, 2011

When Schenn and Sean Couturier suited up together in quest of World Junior Championship gold in Buffalo this past winter, it is doubtful either suspected they would be competing at the same NHL camp by fall. The trades completed by the Flyers the day before the draft that brought Schenn to Philadelphia were one thing, but for a player of Couturier's caliber to fall to the organization at eighth overall was even more incredible.

The soft-spoken Couturier fought mononucleosis all season but still managed to improve on his offensive point-per-game. Though he finished with 96 points once again, he did so this time in 58 games for a 1.66 point-per-game average. That number was better than any other player in the 2011 NHL Draft. He was also a significantly better two-way player than any forward mentioned in the same draft realm.

The Flyers' organization, in need of defensemen, did not hesitate to snag Couturier with their pick while ignoring many talented blueliners such as Dougie Hamilton (BOS). Couturier was the only Canadian player from his draft class to take part in the 2011 World Juniors, and he is among the most NHL-ready players in the draft. Whether the Flyers will use this or opt to give him more time to dominate the junior ranks has yet to be determined. It is one of the biggest questions going into camp this September."

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