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The kid has already proved pretty good at winning these. And he will improve.
Again, this is a goal that won’t be terribly hard to achieve. Danny Briere currently leads the Flyers with a 52.3 win percentage. Brayden Schenn is the only other center on the team winning 50 percent of his faceoffs. Claude Giroux is close at 48.8, but Talbot and Couturier are both under 44 percent.
There are two reasons why, when Schenn returns, he will become the Flyers best faceoff man. Firstly, rookies tend to improve at faceoffs as they become more accustomed to the NHL game. That Schenn maintained a 50 percent winning percentage in his four games at the NHL level shows that he has a natural affinity for winning draws. Expect his percentage to go up as the season moves forward.
Secondly, Briere will be hard pressed to maintain his high winning percentage. Here are his winning percentages in every season going back to the lockout: 48.2, 44.2, 46.2, 50.5, 49.6, 50.7. While players do have a tendency to get better at faceoffs with age, Rob Brind’Amour being the prime example, Briere’s career doesn’t suggest a trajectory that would account for such a jump.
Beyond that, in the above time frame, Briere has never finished higher than third on his team in faceoffs taken. Basically, in seven years as an elite scorer, he’s never truly been counted on as a top faceoff man. He’s second on the Flyers right now behind Giroux in faceoffs taken, and he’s likely to stay there due to the ice time he’s getting. Over the course of the season, expect Briere’s numbers to level out between 48 and 51 percent due to the high volume of draws.
If Schenn can be predicted to win around 52 percent of his draws, not an absurd number, he has a great chance at being the best faceoff man on the Flyers.