Vancouver Canucks’ Luke Schenn is a high target for the trade deadline

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With less than five weeks until the NHL trade deadline on March 3, we’ve got you covered at Daily face-to-face with a trade-focused story each day until the day of the deadline.

Today we’re going to focus on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luke Schenn, who was ranked 11th on our latest Trade Targets chart.

2023 trading deadline countdown: 34 days

Right defense, Vancouver Canucks
Shots: right
Age: 33 years old
Height: 6’2″ | Weight: 226 lbs.
Hit hit: $850,000
Duration: Pending UFA
Statistics: 49 GP, 2 goals, 14 assists, 16 points, 17:09 avg YOU
Career: 15th season (Toronto, Phila, LA, Arizona, Tampa, Van.) 912 GP, 40 goals, 185 points, 17:39 avg TOI

Archetype and ideal role

Shutdown Defender, 3rd pair

The two-time Stanley Cup champion brings grit, shorthanded prowess and the know-how for a deep run in the playoffs. Ideally, he is placed on a third pair where he can contribute to the second unit’s penalty kill.

Screening report

Heads up! Big-rig Schenn is one of, if not the most, physical defenders in the league. Since the stat began being tracked by the NHL, no defenseman has tallied more career hits than Schenn’s 3,077. He hits and he hits hard. If you are an opposing attacker and find yourself in his line of sight, he can line you up and finish you off with determination.

Schenn is also long and he uses his reach to prevent attackers from getting around him, and his stick helps compensate for his relative lack of mobility compared to other defenders. No wonder like most physical defensemen, Schenn is also willing to sacrifice his body to eat a shot or take a hit to advance the puck.

There is also an intangible factor that Schenn brings to the locker room that makes him a valuable addition. He earned a reputation as a great teammate, able to leverage his experience as a lottery draft pick in a big market, get waived and rejuvenate his game in the AHL and pass it on to his teammates who need support. Plus, at Schenn’s cap just above the league minimum, there’s not a team in the NHL that can’t afford to add him.

Buyer Beware

Schenn has reinvented his game over the past two years with the help of individual skills coach Adam Oates, but there are still gaps in his game. Teams have pointed out that due to his physical nature, he can lock a target in the neutral zone and will dive to finish a hit. When he connects, the hit is thunderous, but when he misses, the result is an odd rush.

He also doesn’t have the quick first three steps or the best lateral mobility to close and kill plays, so he relies on that length to delay the attack and then looks to finish off attackers with a big hit. This style also makes him take a decent amount of penalties. Schenn was called for the 14th fewest minor penalties (22) in the league this season. This can become a detrimental trend as teams progress through the playoffs.

Schenn’s puck game is very simple, which is a nod to his self-awareness and his game, but he can turn it around under pressure from the forecheck. Any acquiring team would be wise to pair him with a puck mover where he can help hold down the fort.

Potential compatibilities

  • Boston Bruins: If the Bruins are indeed on Bo Horvat, as expected, and Brandon Carlo goes the other way – then the Bruins would do well to add Schenn to their back end and pair him with a mobile puck mover like Matt Grzelcyk on third pair.
  • Minnesota Wild: The Wild have struggled lately, searching for answers as they try to get back on the right side of the playoff picture. They are considering how to approach pending UFA Matt Dumba at the trade deadline. Dumba is also a right-hander and there could be an opening on the Minnesota blue line.
  • Calgary flames: It’s a safe bet that coach Darryl Sutter covets a player like Schenn. Physical? Check. Block shots? Check. Western Canada? You have just hit the trifecta.
  • Dallas Stars: The Stars are looking for an addition to their top six. But they’re also potentially in the market for adding depth to their blue line and could do well to add someone with Schenn’s experience. Tyler Seguin is their only player on the roster with a cut on his resume.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning know Schenn well from his two years in Tampa, where he helped the Bolts win back-to-back Stanley Cups. Tampa doesn’t have a lot of assets to make moves this season, so if they’re interested in bolstering their defensive depth, maybe a meeting is in order.
  • Vegas Golden Knights: Schenn isn’t the kind of big name we usually associate with the Golden Knights, but chasing the Stanley Cup doesn’t always mean glitz and glamour. They were bumped in the back and could use a little extra protection on the right side.

Comparable Trade Returns

March 21, 2022
To the New York Rangers: Justin Braun
In Philadelphia: 2023 3rd round pick

April 21, 2021
To Carolina: Jani Hakanpaa, 2022 6th round pick (Jakub Vondras)
In Anaheim: Haydn Fleury

The Canucks are said to have turned down a second-round pick for Schenn last season, but he also had one more year left on his contract just above the league minimum. Now, as a pending free agent, the price may be slightly lower and Braun is a decent comparable from last season. The comparable to Hakanpaa was added to highlight that Vancouver is also looking for young NHL-ready roster players in the trades – and while this one isn’t apples to apples because Fleury needed to be protected during the expansion draft and that needs to be taken into account – it adds food for thought.


There’s plenty of room for a player like Schenn on a Stanley Cup-winning roster. He’s perfect for a deep team where he can be paired with a puck thrower because you can never have too many defenders in the playoffs.


Recently by Frank Seravalli

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