After six seasons with the Flyers, Brayden Schenn was dealt away on draft night.
Schenn said on Friday night he was “shocked” at being traded to the St. Louis Blues for Jori Lehtera and multiple draft picks. His agent texted him in the first round, saying he might be traded.
“I wasn’t really paying attention to picks 10 to 20, and then I got a text from my agent saying St. Louis was involved [in talks with the Flyers], but really nothing was imminent,” Schenn said on Sunday. “And after he said that, 30 seconds later, Hexy called and, boom, it happened.”
He said he leaves Philadelphia with “mixed emotions.”
“I spent six years in Philly and had an awesome time there,” he said. “Great teammates and a great organization. But I’m excited to go to St. Louis and get a great opportunity.”
Ironically, No. 2 overall pick Nolan Patrick was looking forward to seeing his friend at Flyers training camp. Patrick played for the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings, as did Schenn years earlier. They met in 2014 when the Wheat Kings initially drafted Patrick.
Kelly McCrimmon was the owner, coach and GM at Brandon and connected Schenn with Patrick. He’s now the assistant GM for the Vegas Golden Knights.
“Kelly asked if I would talk to him and I did that,” Schenn said. “Ever since then, I had contact with him, texting back and forth and stuff like that. Philly got a great player there. He did good things for the Wheat Kings organization, and he’s a big, skilled right-handed centerman and a good guy.”
Schenn is looking toward a big role in St. Louis. Lehtera centered Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko, at times, and the Blues are likely going to give Schenn a similar opportunity.
“They told me they’ll give me an opportunity at center there, so I’m excited,” Schenn said. “They have a lot of skilled forwards there.
“They obviously have a great team and I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity. I’ve been looking forward to playing center for the past little while, and if I get a chance to do that in St. Louis, I’m going to take it and run with it.”