The Tanev family seems to have this late-bloomer thing down pat.
A handful of seasons ago, a 21-year-old Chris Tanev burst on to the scene with the Vancouver Canucks during the 2010-11 season.
In 25 months he went from patrolling the blue line of the Markham Waxers in tier II junior to the Stanley Cup final. It was a remarkable rise for the undrafted rookie after a season in between with Rochester Institute of Technology and part of another with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.
The calmness in his play made such an impression with his teammates that when Chris was pressed into action for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final against the Boston Bruins, his then teammate Kevin Bieksa remarked, "He could have played with a cigarette in his mouth."
Now Sophie and Mike Tanev have another son ready for full bloom in 24-year-old Brandon, a left wing in his final season with Providence College.
His play has sparked interest in at least a dozen NHL teams, making Brandon a hot commodity in the U.S. college free-agent market that began earlier this week when the New Jersey Devils signed Brown forward Nick Lappin.
Other highly sought-after U.S. college free agents include: Yale goalie Alex Lyon, North Dakota forward Drake Caggiula, New Hampshire forward Andrew Poturalski and Minnesota State defenceman Casey Nelson.
Tanev is being chased because of his skating ability, intensity and defensive awareness. As cool a customer as his older brother has been lauded for, the younger Tanev has a lively on-ice spirit and is more outgoing off the ice.
Here is a report on Tanev a scout shared:
Persistent on the F/C [forecheck] and B/C [backcheck] for puck recoveries ... maintains possession/protection of puck in OZP [offensive zone] with good puck MGT [management] that coaches like to see from checking type forwards ... His puck skills are competent for the role but nothing to suggest much secondary scoring support at NHL level ... Work, skate, dog the puck and doesn't turn it over unnecessarily ... The bloodlines/ lineage also noteworthy and doesn't hurt to have a pro in the same house you grew up in often is a plus ... proximity to positive role model, etc.
Chris has been a role model for his younger brother. For three years, Brandon took time away from competitive hockey only to return to play for the Waxers at 19.
Taking time to grow into the game
The main reason for the break was Brandon didn't grow in his mid-teens. So he decided to take a step back. After a growth spurt and watching his brother work hard to make the NHL as an undrafted player, Brandon's passion for the game remained intact.
"Chris has influenced me in so many ways," the 6-foot, 180-pound Brandon said. "He has pushed me in the gym and on the ice.
"I definitely took time to mature [physically]. I was able to get a scholarship, take my time to grow and develop."
Last season, Brandon chased down a loose puck off a face-off to score the championship-clinching goal against Jack Eichel and Boston University in the Frozen Four final at TD Garden, the same rink his brother played in the Stanley Cup final five years ago.
'Biggest moment of my career'
"To play in the national championship and score that goal was the biggest moment of my career," Brandon said. "But it was more the biggest moment for the team, the school, alumni, fans and the community.
"It was the first championship for Providence and it was nice to give the community that win. We get tremendous support from the community."
Brandon has attended development camps with the Canucks, Washington Capitals and Bruins. Last summer, he worked out with his brother Chris, Steven Stamkos, Connor McDavid and others under the fitness guru and former NHL star Gary Roberts.
As a result Brandon has enjoyed his best season in Providence. After scoring 20 times in his first 111 games, he has 15 goals in 34 games this season and hopes there is more to come when the playoffs begin this weekend.
"I wanted to come back for my senior season because we have such a good group here," Brandon said. "I wanted to continue my development, become more of a 200-foot player and build off the success we enjoyed last year."