Sophomore Rylan Schwartz clearly was playing it cool. On the first day of captains’ practice for the Colorado College hockey team, he mostly kept his distance from his touted freshman brother, Jaden.
But at the end, as Jaden was finishing puck cleanup — typical freshman duty — Rylan found a reason to head back to the ice. And the two were the last ones off.
“It’s good to have him around,” Rylan said. “He’s a great player; we look out for each other, we see each other on the ice.”
Yes, the brothers from Wilcox, Saskatchewan, are slated to skate on the same line this season. And everybody knows that Jaden was the No. 14 selection of this year’s NHL draft, by the Blues. But he chose to go to college first.
“We’ve been waiting for this,” said Jaden, who will skate with his brother for the first time in two years. “It’s pretty special; you don’t realize how lucky you are to play with your brother.”
But for now, he’s just another freshman, trying to see his way through drills and figure out who’s who.
“I had the butterflies,” Jaden admitted. “You get to know people in the fitness testing and you’re hanging out. But on the ice it’s a different story.”
There was little to distinguish Jaden from other players — until the scrimmage started at the end of practice. Only then could you definitively see what St. Louis saw. On the first night, he displayed the knack for finding the open man in a 4-on-4 scrimmage. He had 50 assists to go with 36 goals last season, including playoffs, for the Tri-City Storm when he led the United States Hockey League in scoring.
“I’ve had pressure on me for a few years now,” Jaden said. “It doesn’t bother me; if anything, it makes me play better, makes we work harder. ... I’ve still got to earn my spot and play hard.”
And both brothers are looking forward to that.
“I’m pretty sure if he does something incredible people will start looking at me and saying he’s better and stuff like that,” Rylan said. “But it’ll be a fun time.”
Mandi Schwartz updateThe Yale hockey player, who has leukemia, will undergo another week of chemotherapy and a round of radiation before a bone marrow transplant.
“She’s in a half-remission, which they say is good enough (to do the transplant),” Rylan said.