The much ballyhooed prospect, acquired in the blockbuster deal that sent former Flyers captain Mike Richards to L.A., started the season with the AHL Adirondack Phantoms. After 4 goals and 4 assists in eight games, the Flyers saw all they needed and recalled the 20-year-old forward yesterday.
Schenn said when he does hit the ice tonight, he'll play the kind of game that earned him the reputation for being the best prospect outside the NHL, and the Calder Trophy favorite of many NHL experts.
"I'm not going to try to do too much," he said. "Just keep it simple, play my game. You're looking to make good first impressions. I'm not up there to be flashy … I've got to keep it simple."
Expectations have been high for Schenn since the trade was announced June 23. However, he knows he's not going out there to make people forget Richards.
"There is a little added pressure, but for me it's not going to happen right off the bat," he said. "It's not going to happen on the first night. I have to take it game by game, slowly. I'm not going to change my game or try to be something I'm not just because me and Simmer (Wayne Simmonds) got traded for Mike Richards. … There's a little more pressure, but I'm not looking at it that way."
Danny Briere said he didn't think he'd have to say anything to Schenn today.
"He didn't seem nervous at all," Briere told NHL.com. "It's not like he hasn't played any games yet."
Briere also said he doesn't think Schenn will wilt under the pressure of lofty expectations.
"I think for him what's important is to try not to think about that," said Briere. "You've got to kind of block it off. There's a reason why people are staying that about him. And that's what you have to keep in mind. There's a reason why he was drafted so high, why everybody wants him, why he was traded for such a good player. That's all he has to think about, all he has to focus on. I think the fact that he played a few games and got his confidence really high with the Phantoms, I think that goes a long way, too."
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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