Voracek, Schenn getting their shot
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With veteran forward Jaromir Jagr traveling south to Dallas this offseason, two Philadelphia Flyers youngsters are going to get a chance to move north ... on the depth chart.

Jakub Voracek, a 23-year-old, and Brayden Schenn, a 21-year-old, will start the season on the Flyers' first and second lines, respectively.

Jagr skated next to top fantasy options Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell last season on the team's most-used line (15.45 percent frequency) after spending three seasons in the KHL. The 40-year-old played 73 games and scored 19 goals with 54 points, a plus-five differential, 30 penalty minutes, 20 power play points and 170 shots on goal.

But he's gone, and Giroux and Hartnell need a third to complete their trio.

As the veteran of the two forwards, Voracek will get the first crack at filling Jagr's skates. Voracek has already played four NHL seasons and accumulated 183 points, including 49 (18 goals, 31 assists) last season, his first with the Flyers after three campaigns with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Voracek added a plus-11 differential, 32 penalty minutes and 190 shots on goal. He did all this while only playing on the team's fourth- and fifth-most used lines at even strength.

Voracek was utilized as one of four forwards on Philadelphia's top power play line with Wayne Simmonds, Giroux and Hartnell, which had a 21.2 percent frequency, according to leftwinglock.com.

That group played often since Philadelphia led the NHL in power play opportunities with 335. They helped the Flyers score the most power play goals in the league with 66, a rate of 19.7 (tied for fifth-best).

Hartnell had 16 of those goals, Simmonds had 11, Giroux had six and even Jagr had eight. Voracek had zero, with 11 assists. That means all 18 of his goals and 20 of his points came at even strength. With Jagr gone, Voracek will get a major bump in playing time at even strength and should still skate on one of Philadelphia's top two power play lines.

Voracek played in the Czech Republic during the lockout, and while he suffered an MCL sprain in October, the forward still finished with seven goals and 20 points in 23 games.

Schenn, meanwhile, already has 33 games under his belt after playing with the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL during the lockout. He was highly impressive in that stint, scoring 13 goals with 33 points and attempting 118 shots on goal.

Schenn scored 12 goals with 18 points, attempted 97 SOG and turned in 34 PIM in 54 games last season. He also showed a penchant for scoring clutch goals. Schenn finished tied for sixth on the Flyers last season with three game- winners. He scored three goals on 11 shots with six assists in 11 games during last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Schenn will likely step into Jagr's place on the Flyers' second-most utilized power play unit. He was part of the team's fourth-most used group last season but still scored four power play goals with one power play assist.

At even strength, Schenn will skate with Simmonds and Danny Briere (when he returns from a fractured wrist in a week or two), two proven veterans who carried undrafted rookie Matt Read to 24 goals and 47 points last season.

Even at his advanced age, Jagr was a major part of the Philadelphia attack last season. Filling the void won't be easy but the Flyers have strong veterans on their top two lines to help make it a smooth transition for Voracek and Schenn.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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