Analysis: Leafs acquire van Riemsdyk for Schenn

The Toronto Maple Leafs have shipped defenseman Luke Schenn to the Philadelphia Flyers for left-winger James van Riemsdyk.

The trade isn’t a big surprise considering van Riemsdyk has been on the market since the trade deadline. At that time, it was believed the Leafs would have to ship Schenn as well as additional assets to land the 22-year-old forward, but things have changed, and the Flyers may be looking to acquire Bobby Ryan in his place.

Van Riemsdyk is by no means a punishing forward, despite his 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame, but he injects some skill into the Leafs’ lineup and should find a spot on the top-six unit. The move could also light a fire under Nikolai Kulemin, whose spot on the second line left-wing could be in jeopardy should he fail to regain his offensive touch.

But make no mistake, van Riemsdyk is by no means a sure-bet. He attained a career-high 21 goals and 40 points in 2010-11, but he has been somewhat of an underachiever since being drafted second-overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He has a high ceiling offensively, but he has yet to reach that next level. That said, “JvR” should get ample opportunity to display his offensive acumen in Toronto. He averaged 2:47 PP TOI/G, ranked seventh among Flyers forwards, and 15:10 TOI/G, so he should see an overall increase in ice-time with the Leafs. Van Riemsdyk also had a respectable 5.82 Corsi rating (goals + saves + missed shots + blocks), with a 0.816 Corsi Rel QoC (he played tough minutes), and ranked sixth and fifth on the Flyers respectively. He has another six years on his contract with a cap-hit of $4.25-million, so the Leafs take on 625K in salary. Schenn has four years remaining on his contract with a cap-hit of $3.6-million.

Schenn was coming off a rough season in which he, yet again, led the Leafs in hits but struggled in his own end with a -7.53 Corsi rating, which ranked him second-last among Leafs defensemen. He fared a little better in Corsi Rel QoC, ranking fourth among Leafs defensemen with a -0.154 rating. Despite his struggles, Schenn still has potential as top-four defenseman and a fresh start could be just what he needs. Similar to van Riemsdyk, the potential is there for more, so it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out on both sides.

It’s doubtful Burke is finished considering a veteran goaltender and top-six center remain the team’s biggest needs. With a slew of defensemen at Burke’s disposal, it’s likely the Leafs ship out a couple more rearguards to address other areas.

You stay classy, TCL.

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All advanced statistic retrieved from