Schenn sticking around?

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 3:09 PM ET

The Maple Leafs will announce as early as this afternoon that rookie defenceman Luke Schenn will be staying in Toronto and will not be going back to the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. Teams can hold on to rookies for nine games before their contract as junior-aged players kick in. The 18-year-old Schenn has played well enough to stick with the big team.

Schenn has been averaging over 21 minutes after eight regular-season games and has been solid defensively for the club.

"I think logic would suggest that the decision isn't going to be a difficult one," Maple Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher said.

For Schenn, it means moving out of a hotel and into a condo.

"The goal of mine coming in right from the start was hopefully make the team and I think the main thing is to keep getting better," he said, following Toronto's 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. "And I think my confidence has grown over time here and I feel comfortable and they've given me a great opportunity and put me in some key situations. So I'm very thankful for the opportunity and we'll see where it leads me."

It will lead him into a more permanent residency.

LEAFS LOOKING TO TRADE

Fletcher returned from the NHL general managers meeting in Chicago yesterday and said all's quiet on the trading front.

"We talked premilinarily with a few teams, but it's very early," Fletcher said. "The season is only two weeks old. Nobody's pushing the panic button."

The Leafs GM said that there are no imminent trades on Toronto's horizon, but that doesn't mean that something might not happen in the next few weeks.

"At some stage we'll seriously consider trading a defenceman for a forward," Fletcher said. "But it's going to have to be for somebody who really, really appeals to us."

The Leafs have nine healthy defencemen on the roster and head coach Ron Wilson has been forced to sit two or three out at a time. Veteran defenceman Ian White hasn't played a single regular-season game yet, and is likely on the trading block.

"I don't blame him for being frustrated," Fletcher said of White. "He played 81 games for us last year. But I'm sure he'll get his chance."

LINE CHANGES

Veteran winger Jason Blake, who was a healthy scratch for Thursday's game in Boston, played on the club's top line, along with Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky, for the first few games, but was switched on to a new line recently with Dominic Moore and Alex Steen, and that's probably we're he'll stay. Matt Stajan has moved up to the first line.


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