Brayden Schenn and Luke Schenn are more than brothers. They are best friends, and both say they miss being Flyers teammates.

Funny thing is, their play has been elevated - especially Brayden's - since they were separated Jan. 6, the day the Flyers dealt Luke Schenn to Los Angeles.

In his first 22 games since the trade, Brayden Schenn looked noticeably more confident and had nine goals and eight assists - his best streak of the season.

Brayden Schenn was asked if his increased productivity was because he was taking on more responsibility with his brother not around.

"I don't know what the reason is," he said. "I just go to the rink and worry about my own game. Maybe I worry about myself a little more. But I think it's just a coincidence that it's happened, and hopefully it continues."

Schenn said the deal that sent his older brother and Vinny Lecavalier to the Kings for Jordan Weal and a third-round pick was strange because of "the way it went down. We didn't expect it to happen then. We maybe thought it would happen right before the trade deadline [on Monday]."

The Schenns were inseparable. They would eat meals together, drive to the rink together, hang out on off days.

"We're best buddies, so it was a little weird at first, but I'm happy for him," Brayden Schenn said. "He's got a good opportunity and he's playing well. Like I said, it was a little weird at first, but as time goes on, you just talk on the phone" and connect that way.

Schenn, 24, can become a restricted free agent after the season, and the Flyers can match any offer made by another team.

They don't want to lose the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Schenn, a hard-nosed player who is one of the few dependable scorers on an offensively challenged team. He is showing the promise that caused the Kings to draft him fifth overall in 2009, and his versatility - he is effective at either center or wing - increases his value.

Schenn has been used at wing most of the season, but he went to center when Claude Giroux was injured recently. He didn't skip a beat in the middle.

"It just feel so natural to go back to center," he said a few days ago. "You're always in position where you're around the puck and making plays. I feel comfortable there, but at the same time, wherever they want me I have to play."

Schenn has 18 goals and 39 points, and he could surpass his career highs (20 goals, 47 points).

"I think people have been on his back for the last two or three years," said Wayne Simmonds, the high-scoring winger who was acquired with Schenn in the stunning 2012 deal that sent Mike Richards to the Kings. "I think he's been doing a great job. You can see him progressing every game. The confidence he has in his game right now is easy to see."

General manager Ron Hextall said he will not negotiate with Schenn's agent until after the season.

"That's been his plan since the first day of the season, and he's sticking to it," Schenn said. "I just go out there and try to help the team win hockey games and be as productive as I can."

Schenn will be an unrestricted free agent in two years. But that will change if he is locked up to a long-term deal this year; he will probably earn an annual salary similar to the contract Sean Couturier signed last season: $4.3 million per year. Couturier signed a six-year pact for $26 million.

"It's a good spot, a good opportunity," Schenn said when asked if he wanted to remain with the Flyers. "At the same time, they're going to have to want me, so I guess we'll see how it plays out in the summertime. Obviously, it's fun playing in the city of Philadelphia and it's a good group of guys here."

Even without his best friend.

scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull