NHL Trades: Toronto a Clear Winner in Luke Schenn for Van Riemsdyk Trade

Robert TheodorsonSenior Analyst IJune 23, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 01: James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the New Jersey Devils in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Devils defeated the Flyers 4-1.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

For the second time in two days, two brothers have been united. 

TSN reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs have sent 2008 fifth overall pick and longtime Leaf Luke Schenn to Philadelphia in exchange for power-foward winger James van Riemsdyk, the 2007 second overall pick.

First, the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Jordan Staal to anchor the second line under brother Eric Staal.

For Philadelphia, long-term stability has been put in placed by acquiring Schenn to go with his defensively reliable brother Brayden Schenn.

Brayden Schenn was acquired last year with Wayne Simmonds in a trade that sent former Philly captain Mike Richards to Los Angeles.

While Richards was instrumental in the Kings winning their first-ever Stanley Cup earlier this month, Flyers management knew Brayden would take a while to come into his own, as he has been projected anywhere from a first- to third-line center.

Regardless, we now know why Brian Burke used the Maple Leafs' first two draft choices on defensemen rather than bolstering the offense. 

James van Riemsdyk is signed to a very affordable six-year contract in which he will be paid $4.25 million per year. 

In this, the Leafs lose a stay-at-home defenseman that had fallen out of favor in Toronto despite still having plenty of potential. They gain, however, a great young forward who has yet to really prove himself consistently in the NHL. He will now have every opportunity available in hockey-crazed Toronto.

With their defense of the future drafted and in place, the Leafs will now turn their attention to JvR, who will most assuredly find himself playing top minutes with either Tim Connolly or Mikhail Grabovski, Toronto's top two pivots in terms of skill. 

While the loss of physicality and intimidation that comes along with Schenn will be missed, the Leafs have a well-rounded defense still in place with tons of potential in the pipeline for the future.

Both teams come out nicely with this transaction, but Toronto has improved its team just a little bit more.