Canucks Roll Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2021-22 Vancouver Canucks season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the recent campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Vancouver. Today we feature defenceman Luke Schenn.
2022 totals (GP-G-A-P): 66-5-12-17, 61 PIM
Contract Status: One year remaining with a cap hit of $850,000.
Forget statistics when you’re talking about Luke Schenn, although he did out-produce his expected goals and points on the season. There are certain players who can only be analyzed in one way, with good old fashioned hockey values, and that’s what makes this ‘Roll Call’ short and sweet. Unlike Schenn, who some would say, off the ice, is large and sweet, as so many of the tough ones actually are.
Schenn was a frequent visitor to the Vancouver Canucks organized media scrums near the end of the season because he speaks his mind and the beat-writing scribes knew they’d have a new angle to cover. He’s also rather loquacious.
Just the fact that the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion with the Tampa Bay Lightning returned to Vancouver — he played 18 games here towards the end of the 2018-’19 season — and ended up playing way more than originally expected was a story in and of itself.
Particularly with Travis Hamonic’s magical-mystery-tour of Covid shots/non-shots and Tucker Poolman’s ongoing injury issues, Schenn became a go-to on the right side to the point of exhaustion. He turned out being a bodyguard and mentor for the hyper-talented, whirling dervish to his left, Quinn Hughes.
Schenn ended up dropping the mitts seven times this season, including three times during the final four weeks of the season. He may shoot right-handed, but he throws lefty, always a challenge for an adversary.
Nifty to see a short handed goal (April 9th vs San Jose) and a game winning goal (December 1st at Ottawa) on the big defenceman’s season stat line.
He gave pucks away in his own end and he took a lot more penalties than he drew. He lacks mobility, but again, the minutes were not where they were supposed to be. Cry me a river.
What the future holds
At this point in time for the Vancouver Canucks he’s tough and hard to play against, characteristics the club lacks in general. He brings particular attributes at a ridiculously low price. Yes, the Canucks want to get younger, but this is a 32-year-old (33 on November 2nd) that you like having around.
They’d prefer to have a younger, more mobile option in their right-side pairings obviously, but again, character and toughness are handy even if it resides in your sixth or seventh D-man.