We're thinking of making her do it for like every youngin' she deems interesting enough for this because we think she totally outdid herself with this.
If you recognize the name SCHENN, you’re probably thinking of Luke, the Toronto Maple Leafs rookie defenseman, the kid who went 5th overall in the 2008 draft. You’re probably thinking about the kid who came into the draft with probably the most international experience of any draftee (Representing Team Canada at the U-18 World Championship, the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge, the Canada/Russia Super Series, and the World Junior Championships), the kid who was dubbed “The Human Eraser” by colourful TSN analyst Pierre McGuire.
Chances are, you’re not thinking of Brayden, the 17-year-old center with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, the kid who lead his team in scoring as a 16-year-old and won the WHL’s Rookie of the Year title in 07-08, with 28 goals and 43 assists for 71 points in 66 games.
But if you’re not thinking of him now, don’t worry- you will be.
While Luke has solidified himself as an NHL-calibre player, Brayden has been chugging along at a point-per-game pace in the WHL, with 15 points in 15 games (8 goals, 7 assists, +3 rating). For you Americans out there, it might be surprising to hear that even though that’s good for 2nd on the team, it’s considered a bit of a slump for the star players in Canadian Major Junior- less so for WHL players, but even still. But there’s no need to worry- especially for a player as good as Brayden Schenn. A good stat to remember is that he didn’t have a great start to the year last year, either, but vaulted up the standings with 8 goals and 16 assists for 24 points in 8 games later on in the season.
While Brayden obviously has a penchant for getting points and scoring goals, one of the best parts about his game lies in one stat in particular- his 26 PIMS, second on his team. For an elite offensive player, Brayden’s physicality, grit, and willingness to drop the gloves set him apart from other players of his stature. He’s always getting into the dirty areas, always sticks up for his teammates, and plays with every one of his 196 pounds.
"I try to put pucks to the net, stay strong defensively and throw my weight around when I get the chance," Brayden says, comparing his style of play to that of Philadelphia Flyers Captain Mike Richards.
And that he does. Also like Richards, he has been given a lot of responsibility at his young age. This year he was given an A to wear on his chest in only his second season.
“He's tremendously respected by his teammates who not only admire his ability and his talent but have a lot of respect for his maturity and leadership," said Wheat Kings Head Coach Kelly McCrimmon of the young player from Saskatoon.
Brayden is trusted in all situations, scoring 3 of his 8 goals on the powerplay, while 2 came shorthanded. This is big factor in measuring a young player- because it’s great for a player to be on the first powerplay unit, but it speaks more about his ability to know that he plays the penalty kill, as well.
Expect Brayden- who also has a lot of international experience under his belt- to play for Team Canada at the World Juniors in Ottawa this year. He’s currently ranked #5 by International Scouting Services- but could go higher, and almost definitely not lower. In other words- see him drafted around the same spot as his big brother.
Luke and Brayden were born 22 months apart in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. And I have to say, you won’t find many brothers as close as these two.
"We're really close. I always keep in touch with him and like to know what's going on with him and Brandon,” Luke said. “We're really tight.”
Like the famous Staal brothers, and many others, the Schenn’s grew up battling on the backyard rink. And believe me, I’ve been to Saskatoon- it gets downright freezing in the Winter. It takes real dedication and a love for the game to get out every night in those conditions, but it drove the Schenn brothers to compete even further. "We not only liked to compete with each other, but we liked to push each other," Brayden said. "When we would play together on the backyard rink we would compete that way. He's a D-man and I'm a forward so we would always compete one-on-one.”
Luke is Brayden’s role model and he’s doing a damn good job of following in his brother’s footsteps. Brayden attended the draft in Ottawa this year to watch his brother’s name get called- "I was at the draft with him and I was right there when it happened," Brayden said. "It was a really exciting day in our family's life and his life. It was good to see him get drafted and it was an exciting time.”- and with Brayden’s big day coming up this summer, you can be assured Luke will be right there sitting next to him.
It looked for a while like they might finally get to play on the same team for the World Juniors, but with Luke staying in Toronto that seems unlikely now. But hey- there will be World Championships for these kids for years to come.