The St. Louis Blues acquired Brayden Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Jori Lehtera, the 27th overall pick in the draft (Morgan Frost), and a conditional 2018 first-round pick.
The Blues receive: An upgrade at center from Lehtera to Schenn, whose past two seasons have been the best of his NHL career. Over those two seasons, he has reached minimums of 25 goals, 55 points, 22 power-play points, and 178 shots on goal. The Blues were weak up the middle last season, with their top-scoring center (Paul Stastny) reaching just 40 points. It’s worth mentioning that Stastny, Lehtera, and Robby Fabbri all missed time due to injuries.
Another reason for making the deal from the Blues’ end? They rid themselves of Lehtera’s $4.7 million per year contract. It didn’t come cheap for the Blues, as they give up two first-round picks in the process.
The Flyers receive: Lehtera, who was a massive disappointment last season with just seven goals and 22 points in 64 games. Lehtera’s point totals have dropped each of his past two seasons since a solid first season of 44 points. Lehtera has a slightly lower cap hit than Schenn ($5.125 million) but has been far less productive over the last two seasons.
Frost scored 62 points (20g-42a) in 67 games in his second season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL last season. He is a solid playmaker with a good all-around game, although the Flyers may have reached for him given his pre-draft ranking (Dobber 2017 Draft Ranking: 64).
The Blues could use Schenn as either a center or a winger, although he moved to center last season. Expect him to be used on the first-unit power play, as 17 of his 25 goals last season were with the man advantage. His value shouldn’t change a whole lot in St. Louis, unless he is being brought in specifically to center Vladimir Tarasenko. As for Tarasenko’s production, it should also remain unaffected, as he lined up with various centers in 2016-17 because of the injuries.
If Schenn is used as a center, it might seem that Stastny stands to lose the most, both in terms of even-strength and power-play time. However, Stastny’s role on the first-unit power play is to take faceoffs (60% PP FOW%), so it might not be so easy for Schenn to kick Stastny off the first-unit power play. Where he might impact Stastny i