It won’t be long in June before one lucky National Hockey League (NHL) team calls the name Braden Schneider to help build their blue line.
The eighth ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings is a rugged defenceman for the Brandon Wheat Kings who recently competed in the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
He scored the game-winning goal for Team White on the national stage but has also been getting it done offensively for the Wheaties this season with a career-high 30 points (5G-25A) in 43 games. His added experience at Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp helped Brandon put together a 10-game winning-streak putting the club back in contention for the East Division crown.
The 18-year-old from Prince Albert, Sask. recently spoke to the CHL about his team’s recent success and about his experience in Hamilton,Ont. as he continues to push through his NHL Draft season.
Here’s what Schneider had to say:
Describe your Top Prospects Game GWG and how did it feel?
I remember we got the puck deep and Ridly (Greig) knocked a guy off his puck and I think (Connor) Zary picked it up. He passed it to (Tyson) Foerster, and he gave a no-look pass for me backdoor, and I just had to put it in. Obviously I was pretty happy and pretty psyched to get the goal, but I was just happy to get the boys ahead.
What was it like coming together with the best prospects from across the CHL?
It was obviously exciting. I’ve never gotten to play with many of those players so being able to play with that level of skill and talent and meeting other top players from across Canada was pretty special.
What was your reaction to being ranked eighth by NHL Central Scouting?
It’s a pretty special feeling. I mean, being ranked among that talented group of players is something pretty special and something you dream about. But my main focus right now is getting as many wins as we can with the Brandon Wheat Kings.
What kind of player would the NHL team that picks you be getting?
I think they’d be getting a hard hitting defenceman. I take pride in my own end and I like to transition quick and jump into the rush if I can. I like to get shots from the point and I take pride in my first pass.
What’s been the key to the Wheat Kings success so far in 2020?
Everyone is buying into the same system and buying into a role. I think if we keep playing that way, we’ve learned how to win, and we’re improving every game, in the long run we’ll be a tough team to play against.
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