BEIJING - When Bruins forwards Danton Heinen and Sean Kuraly set out for China on the 2018 Bruins Global trip, presented by O.R.G. Packaging, they had the special opportunity to bring one of their brothers along with them.
Danton brought his 26-year-old brother, Cody, while Sean brought his 18-year-old brother, Nick.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to come all the way around the world alongside my brother," said Sean Kuraly. "Hockey is pretty cool to be able to take us to China. It's something we would never have the chance to do without the sport and the organization and Mr. Zhou and O.R.G."
Nick Kuraly is one of three brothers, along with Sean and their oldest brother, Chris. When deciding between Chris and Nick, the Kuraly parents stepped in to help make a decision.
"When Sean told our family," Nick explained, "it was between me and our older brother. My parents pretty much said since I'm the only one who hasn't been off the continent, that I would get to go. After that, I was ecstatic. I had no clue what to expect. I was really excited."
Sean noted how excited his parents were to have two of their sons share the unique experience.
"My parents are definitely appreciative of this opportunity for us," said Sean. "We would not have been able to come to China if not for this trip, and the whole family is very thankful."
Heinen was already excited for the opportunity to go to China, but having his brother Cody alongside him made it even more special.
"It's awesome," said Danton. "It's definitely a unique experience to get to do something like this. Having my brother along and doing this together is even cooler."
Throughout the year, the pair spends much of their time apart, as Cody still lives in their hometown of Langely, British Columbia.
"I'm gone for the season a lot and we don't get to spend too much time together," said Danton. We definitely cherish the time we do get to spend together, and that's why this trip has been so special for the both of us."
Cody was completely surprised when Danton approached him about joining him in China.
"I had no idea," said Cody. "I thought it was just going to be him and some of his teammates. I was thrilled. That was a no-brainer to come on this trip. A once in a lifetime opportunity to come to China with my brother, of course I'm going to take it. I don't know if I would have ever come to China if it wasn't for this trip. It has been awesome."
On Wednesday, the group made memories when they visited The Great Wall of China.
"It was unbelievable," said Danton. "I've never seen one of the seven wonders of the world, so check that off the bucket list. We definitely both appreciated it."
In addition to enjoying their time sight-seeing, each of the brothers noted how having Bruins alumni P.J. Stock along for the trip has made it all the more entertaining.
"He's a character," said Nick. "Definitely leads the group."
Stock, the self-proclaimed "leader of the ship," has helped keep the group entertained at every opportunity.
"A great group of people here," said Cody Heinen. "P.J. has made it a lot of fun here. He's a character, really fun to have along for the trip."
"He's been awesome," Sean said of the former Bruin. "P.J. has really spiced the trip up."
Halfway through the 12-day trip, the group has already coalesced into a tight-knit team and made memories that will last a lifetime.
"I never could have imagined we would have had the opportunity to do this together," said Sean. "I'm very grateful for the experience."