PITTSBURGH - The Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Luke Schenn from the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward James van Riemsdyk Saturday. The 22-year-old Schenn should help fill the void created by the loss of captain Chris Pronger, who is unlikely to return because of postconcussion symptoms.
“He’s a young guy, he’s a big defenseman that plays physical and gritty, and he can move the puck,’’ said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. “To get guys like this, you’ve got to be picking high in the draft. It’s an opportunity for us, and obviously James was taken high in the draft, too.’’
Schenn had 14 goals and 61 assists in four seasons for Toronto.
“I wouldn’t ever compare myself to Chris Pronger. He’s obviously going to be in the Hall of Fame,’’ Schenn said.
Schenn is the older brother of Flyers forward Brayden Schenn. Luke Schenn was the fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft.
“He couldn’t believe it. He told me it was a dream come true,’’ Luke Schenn said of his brother’s reaction. “It’s hard to comprehend right now.’’
Brayden Schenn called it a “happy day in the Schenn household!’’ on Twitter.
Van Riemsdyk, also 22, has 47 goals and 52 assists for 99 points in three seasons. The second overall pick in the 2007 draft, Van Riemsdyk had 7 goals in 11 games in the 2011 playoffs, but played only 43 games last season because of injuries. He had 11 goals and 13 assists.
“I believe it’s a good trade for both teams,’’ Holmgren said. “It certainly fills a need for us and I think it fills a need for them as well, in terms of what they’re looking to do.’’
Sharks sign Stuart
The Sharks agreed to terms on a three-year contract with newly acquired defenseman Brad Stuart that will prevent him from becoming a free agent.
The Sharks acquired the rights to Stuart earlier this month from Detroit for pending free agent Andrew Murray and a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2014.
Stuart, a former Bruin, had made clear that he wanted to be closer to his family, who lives in San Jose.
Run on Crimson
In a 13-pick span during Saturday’s draft rounds, a pair of future Harvard men became NHL property.
At No. 53, Tampa Bay selected Brian Hart. With the 66th pick, Nashville drafted Jimmy Vesey. Both will report to Harvard this fall.
Hart, a Phillips Exeter graduate, doesn’t think he’ll have any trouble acclimating to Cambridge.
“It’s kind of like a Harvard of high school, almost,’’ Hart said of Exeter. “The homework is pretty much the same as at Harvard. Obviously, it will be a little tougher. But I think I’m ready for the transition.’’
Hart, a native of Cumberland, Maine, was the first New Englander taken. Hart will be teammates with Vesey, who played for South Shore of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. Vesey, son of former Bruin Jim Vesey, compares himself to Anze Kopitar.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, being accepted there and especially being a Boston kid,’’ Vesey said of attending Harvard and playing for former Bruin Ted Donato.
Duchene inks deal
The Avalanche locked up one of their promising forwards, signing Matt Duchene to a two-year deal.
The 21-year-old played in just 58 games last season as he dealt with knee and ankle injuries. He had 14 goals and 14 assists.
Duchene was drafted third overall in 2009. He made the All-Star team in 2010-11, and became the youngest player in franchise history to lead the squad in scoring.
Calnan a Blackhawk
Norwell, Mass., native Chris Calnan was drafted by Chicago with the No. 79 pick. Calnan, who will enroll at Boston College in 2013, is following a path set by current Eagle Kevin Hayes. Hayes, who hails from Dorchester, was drafted by Chicago in the first round in 2010. Like Calnan, Hayes attended Noble & Greenough. “I know Kevin Hayes really well,’’ Calnan said. “He’s an unbelievable kid. He’s been very helpful to me. I appreciate everything he’s done for me. He’s at Boston College now. I’ll be there in a couple years. I’m pumped for that.’’ Calnan will not play for Nobles as a senior. He will be with Waterloo of the United States Hockey League or South Shore of the EJHL . . . Sam Kurker of Reading was the first Massachusetts player drafted, taken by the Blues at No. 56. Kurker, most recently of St. John’s Prep, will be a Boston University freshman this fall . . . Tim Boyle, younger brother of Rangers forward Brian Boyle, was taken in the fourth round by Ottawa . . . Carolina selected Charlestown native Brendan Collier in the seventh round.