Luke Schenn Ready for Breakout Season for Toronto Maple Leafs

Evan LeBlancCorrespondent IISeptember 9, 2011

OTTAWA, CANADA - APRIL 2: Bobby Butler #16 of the Ottawa Senators battles for position against Luke Schenn #2 of the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place on April 2, 2011 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images

Luke Schenn has already established himself as a responsible young defenseman for the Maple Leafs and certainly has earned himself a very good roster spot. I believe that Schenn is destined to be better than almost any of the more-hyped young defensemen such as Tyler Myers, Marc Staal and John Carlson.

Schenn should be able to put up numbers that compete with other young defensemen this season on an improved Leafs squad with a better power play and probably more total goals scored. Even though Schenn is known to be solid, this is the year that he distinguishes himself amongst the league's best young defensemen.

I think that Schenn is really the most responsible defensively out of Myers, Staal and Carlson, even though Ranger fans will probably be vocal about their disagreement with me.

Schenn is about to turn 22 years old and shows signs of understanding the game at a higher level than other defensemen do their entire career.

Meanwhile, Philly fans think that he will not even be the best Schenn in the NHL pretty soon.

This year, you will see Schenn step out and play extremely well, even to the point where he merits consideration for adding the "A" that Marc Staal wears to his jersey.

Schenn is the type of young leader that the Leafs need going forward, and he could establish himself as young goaltender James Reimer's favorite if he continues to use his size to discourage forwards from spraying ice into Reimer's crease (a common tactic that veterans use to try and bother young goalies).

Schenn does not really have the league-wide acclaim that I think a player of his talent level should, so he will have a year that will force the rest of the league to acknowledge him. If the Leafs want to make the playoffs, they have to have all of their young players step up in a major way.

That starts with Schenn, who has been playing very well, but the future should hold greater things yet for this young man.