VOORHEES, N.J. -- The Flyers were working on some one-on-one drills, and it was Brayden Schenns turn to attempt to fight through a defender and take a shot on goal.
He skated down the ice with his head up, confidently charging in toward the net. But Schenn never got a shot off, because he was stopped.
By his older brother, Luke.
He always knows all my moves, Brayden Schenn said with a smile. Couldnt beat him, but pretty cool looking up going down and seeing your brother playing.
The Flyers acquired Luke Schenn, 23, in June, in a trade that sent James van Riemsdyk to the Maple Leafs. In bringing him to Philadelphia, the Flyers hope hell become a solid top-four D-man and partner to veteran Kimmo Timonen. They also hope the big defenseman (hes 6-foot-2 and 229 pounds) will live up to the expectations he never quite met in Toronto.
Schenn believes that having his younger brother around and the sibling rivalry thats all but a guarantee to result from it will help him on the ice.
Its been a surreal feeling being on the same team practicing, he said. Its obviously going to be dream come true to play on the same team as him. Its pretty good. We always pushed each other growing up, and well keep pushing each other.
The Flyers, too, are banking on it. Brayden, 21, had an up-and-down first year with the Flyers, registering 18 points (12 goals) in 54 games. He showed promise, but got thrown off track a few times because of injury. A more consistent season from the younger Schenn brother would be hugely helpful to the team, which is counting on all of its younger players to have strong showings in 2013.
Its pretty cool to be in the same NHL dressing room as Luke and being out on the ice together at the Flyers Skate Zone, Brayden Schenn said. Who would have thought with him being in Toronto and me being in L.A. that we both would have ended up in Philadelphia. ... Its a pretty cool feeling and just to be here with him is awesome.
Having Brayden to help him get acclimated has been a big time help, Luke said. The two are neighbors in the same condo building and commute to practices together. The day Luke was traded to the Flyers, he said, he talked at length with Brayden about everything he should expect in moving to Philadelphia. And those talks kept coming till the pair arrived for the start of training camp.
We talked every day about all the little things to experience, Luke Schenn said. What its like playing in a city like Philadelphia, fans, travel, all the little things you dont get to talk to someone every day about when you get traded.
The two brothers havent played together since they were children. Their dad coached them on a team before they were 10-years-old, and though they trained together during summers, they didnt get many chances to skate in the same organization.
This season hasnt even started yet, and the two have already answered a seemingly endless series questions from the media about what its been like to be reunited and wearing matching jerseys. Its an obvious storyline of camp, and one brother or the other has been asked about it each of the past four days. But, as it turns out, they dont mind one bit.
We always dreamed about playing together, but we thought if it was a possibility it would probably happen later on in our careers, down the road, Luke Schenn said. We didn't expect it to happen this soon. For us to come together this early on in our careers it's pretty exciting for us and our family.
As Brayden put it: I get quizzed about Luke a lot, but thats a good question to be asked.
Both Schenns are excited to finally get the season started Saturday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Like their teammates, they were frustrated by the lockout and just wanted to get back to playing in the NHL.
That eagerness was only amplified by the opportunity to play at that level together.
We always followed each other and pushed each other in the summers, and trained together, Luke Schenn said. But I never had the chance to play with him, and doing it, especially in the NHL, it's going to be unbelievable.