Leafs pluck van Riemsdyk

The Maple Leafs have dealt defenceman Luke Schenn (left) in exchange for Flyers forward James van...

The Maple Leafs have dealt defenceman Luke Schenn (left) in exchange for Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk. (File photos)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:56 PM ET

It didn’t happen on the draft floor, but Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke finally made a big off-season splash late Saturday afternoon.

Burke shipped defenceman Luke Schenn, the subject of trade rumours for almost two years, to the Philadelphia Flyers for big winger James van Riemsdyk.

The move addresses one of the team’s most glaring needs up front. Though he doesn’t always use his size, van Riemsdyk is the type of player that should fit well into new Toronto coach Randy Carlyle’s lineup and easily be a top six forward.

Schenn, meanwhile, will be reunited with his brother Brayden, a big forward who had a solid season with the Flyers last year.

“I know the brothers are close,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told the Philadelphia Daily News. “This has got to be a positive for Brayden.

“Obviously we gave up a good young winger in James, but we’re getting a good young defenceman in Luke.”

There were Schenn-for-van Riemsdyk rumours around February’s trade deadline, but the two teams couldn’t pull off a deal. Prior to that, the Leafs expected Schenn to be a big part of their future when they signed the former first-rounder to a five-year, $18 million contract.

Van Riemsdyk, 23, collected 11 goals and 13 assists in 43 games for the Flyers in 2011-12. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound American shared the Flyers’ team lead with seven goals in 11 playoff games in 2011.


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