Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Braden Schneider.
Braden Schneider had a strong season with seven goals and 35 assists for 42 points in 60 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings. He is considered a leader on the team as an alternate captain. He also played in two games for the WHL in the Canada-Russia Super Series and appeared in the CHL Top Prospects Game, scoring a goal in the game.
Schneider played eight games for Team Canada at the Under-18 World Championships last spring. He scored two goals and an assist and was named a top-three player on the team. Schneider was part of the 2018 Team Canada entrant at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, winning gold. The late-2001 birthdate defender had 24 points in 58 games last season. The 12th overall pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, Schneider had 22 points in 66 games in 2017-18 as a WHL rookie. He also scored six points in 11 playoff games that year. He played for Team Canada White at the 2017 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, picking up two points in six tournament games.
Braden Schneider Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Right
Born September 20th, 2001 — Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Height 6’2″ — Weight 202 lbs [188 cm / 92 kg]
Schneider is an excellent skater which helps him to play a strong 200-foot game. He has a smooth stride and generates good speed and acceleration in both directions. He also has very good agility and edgework. This allows Schneider to cover a lot of ice. He also has very good pivots that allow Schneider to transition quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. Schneider is strong on his skates and has a well-developed lower-body. This allows him to win battles along the boards and to effectively clear the front of the net. Schneider has good size but can get even stronger. This will help him to be even more effective in these areas.
Schneider combines his strong skating with effective puckhandling ability. He can skate the puck out of danger and avoid forecheckers to start the transition game. He can also make plays with the puck in the neutral zone. Schneider is also a good passer who starts the transition game with an effective first pass. He does not normally lead the rush, but once he moves the puck up the ice he does a good job of knowing when to join the rush and provide an extra option. He also has the ability to play the point in the offensive zone with good passing skills and the vision to set up his teammates.
However, Schneider needs some work on his slap shot. Schneider is most effective when sneaking in and setting up at the top of the faceoff circle and letting go of a wrist shot. He has an accurate shot with a quick release. Schneider uses his agility to walk the line, helping him to open up passing and shooting lanes. He knows how to get his shot on net, and is effective at keeping it low and allowing his teammates the opportunity to set up a screen, pounce on a rebound or get a deflection. Schneider is also able to make a quick dangle to open up a passing lane. He is poised with the puck on his stick and makes smart decisions.
Defensively, Schneider has good positioning and gap control. He defends well against both the rush and the cycle game. Schneider is willing to play physical but is not one to get out of position looking for a big hit. Instead, he is good at battling in the corners and in front of the net. Schneider is a smart player who reads the play well and cuts off passing and shooting lanes. He uses his long stick to intercept passes and create turnovers. He is also quick to transition the puck up the ice and this helps to create offensive chances and reduces the time in his own zone.
Projection and Comparison
Schneider has been effective in playing big minutes, against top lines, and contributing on both the power play and the penalty kill. If he reaches his potential, he should be able to do the same in the NHL in time. His offensive game may never be elite, but he can be part of the second unit on an NHL power play. Schneider will likely spend another year in the WHL, and compete to be part of Team Canada at the World Juniors. He might also need a year continuing in the AHL after that. His game is reminiscent of Brent Seabrook, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Braden Schneider that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Braden Schneider Main Photo:
KELOWNA, BC – NOVEMBER 03: Braden Schneider #2 of the Brandon Wheat Kings skates along the bench to celebrate a goal against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on November 3, 2018, in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)