NHL Trades: Flyers Acquire Luke Shenn from Maple Leafs for James van Riemsdyk

Mark Jones@@CanesReportSenior Analyst IJune 23, 2012

For Luke and Brayden Shenn, Philadelphia has become the City of Brotherly Love in more ways than one.

TSN's Darren Dreger is reporting that the Philadelphia Flyers have acquired defenseman Luke Shenn from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward James van Riemsdyk.

The deal unites the two Shenn brothers in Philadelphia—a combination that threatens to steal the spotlight from Carolina's Jordan and Eric Staal, who were united in a blockbuster trade yesterday.

Luke Shenn, the fifth overall pick of the 2008 NHL draft, had spent his first four NHL seasons with the Maple Leafs, compiling 75 points in 310 career appearances. The 22-year-old blueliner tallied two goals, 22 points and a minus-six rating in 2011-'12, but gradually entered into trade rumors as his market value began to exceed his on-ice play. 

As early as February's trade deadline, rumors of this very exchange had begun to leak onto the airwaves. Now, it's a reality.

Luke, looming large at 6'2", 229 lbs., will provide a physical presence on the Flyers' blue line, hopefully blossoming into the eventual replacement for over-the-hill Chris Pronger as a premier checking defenseman.

Meanwhile, his brother Brayden will look to build off of his rookie year, in which the 20-year-old center—also another former fifth-overall pick, only in 2009—scored 12 goals and 18 points in 54 regular-season games as well as three goals and nine points in 11 playoff appearances.

For the Maple Leafs, it's a difficult end to accept for a player they once had such high hopes for. In the long run, though, van Riemsdyk could help to ease the blow.

Only age 23 himself, van Riemsdyk regressed from his impressive 2010-11 campaign—when the New Jersey native scored career highs with 21 goals, 40 points and a plus-15 rating—with only 11 goals, 24 points and a minus-one rating this past season.

He'll arrive in Toronto with much the same expectations as Shenn will have in Philly, though; after all, van Riemsdyk is also a former top-five draft pick with a career that's turned a bit sour.

For every player affected by Saturday's swap, it's a day they'll remember as the end of an era.

For Luke and Brayden Shenn, however, it's a family reunion they won't have to wait until Thanksgiving for—and a pair of brothers ready to take over the City of Brotherly Love by storm.

 

Mark Jones is a Bleacher Report featured columnist. In four years with the site, he has written more than 390 articles and received over 530,000 reads.

Visit his profile to read more, or follow him on Twitter.

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