Schwartz Brothers Connect Again in Colorado Springs
by Dan Myers/CHN Staff
MANKATO, Minn. Among Colorado College's biggest surprises last season was the play of freshman Rylan Schwartz — a high-scoring forward in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League perhaps better known because of his younger brother Jaden.
While playing for Notre Dame in the SJHL three years ago, Rylan committed to Colorado College. The following season, when Rylan and Jaden were teammates for the first time, the younger Schwartz also committed to the Tigers, ensuring the two would play together again this season.
"It's pretty special. It's something we take pride in," Jaden said. "We're getting better and better the older we get and I think so far, it's going pretty well here, we just need to keep it up."
Rylan's solid season in Colorado Springs last season was buoyed by the fact Jaden was tearing up the United States Hockey League. By the end of the year, Jaden led Tri-City and the USHL in scoring, posting 33 goals among 83 points in winning the league's Forward of the Year award.
"The family is an excellent family, they bring a lot of character," said Tigers head coach Scott Owens. "They're both high end skill guys, team players, unselfish, very talented and they play well together."
As it turns out, the decision to play together was a simple one. Rylan made the choice in January of 2007 to play at CC. Almost a year to the date later, Jaden made the same decision.
"We wanted to play together," Jaden said. "We both had options, choosing between the WHL and college and this seemed like the best fit for both of us."
Playing together is a definite benefit both see, as each brother noted their almost instant chemistry on the ice. In last Friday night's 5-4 loss to Minnesota State, the brothers connected on a pair of goals. Jaden was credited with both, but Rylan was also credited with the first (or in the case of the second, the only) assist.
"He's such a smart hockey player, he always knows what's going on out there," Rylan said.
"We find each other, we know where each other are," Jaden said.
"Just watching every day, seeing how they make passes to each other tape to tape, they play off each other well, they can think what the other us doing," Owens said.
Jaden's transition to the student portion of student-athlete has also been made easier by the presence of his older brother.
"Any time I have a question or something, I ask him" Jaden said. "He showed me the ropes the first couple of days, signed me up for everything and showed me where everything was."
Drafted No. 14 in the 2010 Entry Draft, Jaden has the burden of expectations on his shoulders. Despite being an All-Rookie team selection last season, Rylan still seems to fly under the radar.
"I think he is someone who gets overlooked a bit because of his brother," Owens said of Rylan. "But you watch him game in and game out, you can see the skill come through."
Rylan's All-Rookie debut last year has also laid down a challenge to the younger Schwartz.
"I'd like to follow in his footsteps on the All-Rookie team," Jaden said before pausing for a moment and perhaps invoking a bit of sibling rivalry, "if not Rookie of the Year."