|Brayden Schenn, brother of Toronto Maple Leafs 2008 Draft pick Luke Schenn, is intent on making a name for himself.|
Brayden's brother, Luke, was selected No. 5 by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2008 Entry Draft, and has been in the spotlight this summer. But Brayden is becoming widely known in western Canada and beyond in the hockey world.
Brayden, who turns 17 on Aug. 22, fondly remembers his brother being drafted in Ottawa and remembers it was an exciting time for the entire Schenn family.
"I was at the draft with him and I was right there when it happened," Schenn 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. It was good to see that he went to a good organization."
Unlike his stay-at-home defenseman brother, Brayden is a shifty forward who concentrates on the offensive side of the game. Like his brother, Brayden is not afraid to play physically.
"I try to be a skilled forward and I like to put pucks in the net," Brayden said. "I still like to throw my weight around. I also like to try to play a sound defensive game."
Brayden has always been competing with his brother, whether it was in the backyard rink of their home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, growing up or in the WHL where Luke plays for the Kelowna Rockets.
"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. I don't think it gives me extra added incentive when I play against him now, but I like being around him."
Despite playing for different teams in different WHL conferences, the brothers keep in constant contact during the season.
"We're really close," Luke said. "I always keep in touch with him and like to know what's going on with him and Brandon. He always gives me calls to see what's going on in Kelowna. So we're really tight. We like to keep in touch. We don't get to play each other a ton, but it's cool when we get to play each other."
Brayden led his team and the WHL's rookies with 71 points last season, but the Wheat Kings were defeated in six games in the first round by the eventual WHL Eastern Conference champion Lethbridge Hurricanes. Schenn had two goals and three points in the series and added 14 penalty minutes.
Brayden believes that with many returning players the Wheat Kings are set to go further in the playoffs this season.
"We are a pretty well-rounded team," Brayden said. "It helps that guys are a year older. We have lots of returnees and that should help a lot."
"I was at the draft with him and I was right there when it happened. 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. It was good to see that he went to a good organization.”
-- Brayden Schenn on Luke Schenn
Brayden appears to be following Luke's international footsteps because he played in the Under-18 World Championship last season and represented Canada at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Brayden believes that playing for Canada at lesser events is a stepping stone to an invitation to World Junior Championship training camp.
"I think this tournament (Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament) is definitely a step towards playing in the World Juniors," Brayden said. "But at the same time it's a long way away. I'm just going to worry about this tournament now and see what happens in the future."
Brayden knows that he still has to hone his skating and defensive skills even though he has had a tremendous amount of success for a player his age.
"I could improve in every aspect of the game, but especially defensively," Brayden said. "I'm an offensive guy, but I'd like to improve my defensive game and work on my skating a bit."
If Brayden can improve his skating and defense, he may even get selected before the fifth pick. Wherever Brayden gets selected, there is no doubt that a team is going to be lucky to have this talented scorer.