Maple Leafs rookie Luke Schenn admits he might be more nervous at this year's NHL entry draft on June 26 in Montreal than he was at last year's draft, when Toronto picked the rugged defenceman fifth overall. That's because his brother, Brayden, is eligible for the draft this year.
Schenn says he does allow himself to dream about playing with his brother in a Leafs uniform. Brayden, 17, is the fifth-ranked North American player by NHL Central Scouting.
The 19-23-8 Leafs are 25th out of 30 NHL teams so there is a chance they might pick the younger Schenn, a Brandon Wheat Kings centre who has 22 goals and 61 points in 51 games in the WHL.
"There's no question I'd love to see him play for the Toronto Maple Leafs and I know he would love to too," said Schenn, who arguably played his best game of the season in Toronto's 5-4 victory over Pittsburgh on Saturday night. "But at the same time, we'll see where we're picking and see where he ends up being ranked. But it would be pretty special having two brothers playing together at the same time."
The most recent brother act to don the Maple Leafs jersey together were Peter and Miroslav Ihnacak in the mid-1980s.
Schenn said he and his brother have played together only in summer leagues and in novice. Brayden was a late cut by Team Canada for this season's world junior championship. Last year, the six-foot, 192-pound centre lead all WHL rookies with 71 points and was named the league's rookie of the year.
Last year, Brayden played for Team Canada at the under-18 world championship in Kazan, Russia, as a 16-year-old, capturing a gold medal. He tallied three goals and five assists in four games. Later last season, he competed in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, earning another gold medal.
John Tavares of the London Knights is currently the No.1 ranked draft-eligible player.
Schenn, meanwhile, has been playing like the Leafs' franchise player, but he isn't the only 19-year-old in the organization who has shown tremendous promise.
Chris DiDomenico of Woodbridge is having an solid campaign in the Quebec Major League.
Drafted by the Leafs 164th overall in 2007 (the sixth round), DiDomenico played on the gold-medal winning Canadian team at this year's world junior championship.
In 26 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs and eight with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, from where he was traded after the world championship, DiDomenico has 15 goals and 30 assists for 45 points in 34 games.
The Leafs, who took yesterday off, host the Florida Panthers tomorrow night at the ACC and then head to HSBC Arena in Buffalo for a game Wednesday night.
WAITING FOR ANSWER
Toronto GM Brian Burke said yesterday he had not heard back from the NHL about the Leafs' request that the league review the actions of Pittsburgh centre Tyler Kennedy from Saturday's game. The Leafs contend that Kennedy instigated a second-period fight against Schenn by jumping off the bench.