Brown and Thomson came through the ranks with the capital club before each won moves to the opposite halves of the Old Firm divide.
But while Brown has grown in stature at Celtic Park and now skippers both club and country, Thomson has been forced to return to Hibs to rebuild his career.
The 29-year-old won two Scottish titles with Rangers as well as a Scottish Cup winner's medal and two League Cups but injuries wrecked his move to Middlesbrough in 2010 and he was initially forced to play for free when he returned to Leith in February.
However, Handling says Thomson's rejuvenated form deserves to see him add to his three Scotland caps collected so far.
The 19-year-old said: "Scott and Kevin are similar in some ways. To me, they are both leaders and help the team.
"Broony is more attacking than Thommo but they both play in a similar way - they both fight, they both tackle and they both like to pass the ball.
"They are the top players at both their clubs. Scott is obviously captain of both Scotland and Celtic but to me Kevin has still had a very good career.
"He's been at Rangers, played for Middlesbrough and now he's back at Hibs. And he's played for Scotland. If you achieve half of that I'd say you were doing well.
"He's one of the best players I've ever played with. The way he motivates the rest of the guys in our team is massive."