Reid Schaefer Scouting Report: 2022 NHL Draft

Reid Schaefer Scouting Report
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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 2022 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 bring you our Reid Schaefer Scouting Report.

Power forward prospect Reid Schaefer had a breakout season with the Seattle Thunderbirds. He climbed draft boards all season long thanks to his improved offensive game. Schaefer scored 32 goals and 26 assists for 58 points in 66 games this year. He was also a force in the WHL playoffs. Schaefer scored five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 25 games. He helped the Thunderbirds reach the WHL Final. Unfortunately, Seattle ran into a stacked Edmonton Oil Kings team and lost the series in six games. However, Schaefer was impressive when it counted and his performance impressed many scouts and analysts.

Schaefer has come a long way. He was drafted by Seattle in the 8th round, 164th overall, at the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft. In 2019-20, Schaefer played just seven games for the Thunderbirds, picking up one assist. He spent most of his season with Spruce Grove in the AJHL, scoring six goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 33 games.  His 2020-21 season was cut short due to the COVID pandemic. Schaefer had just two assists in 18 games for Seattle. He also played three games for Spruce Grove.

Reid Schaefer Scouting Report

Left Wing — shoots Left
Born September 21st, 2003 — Spruce Grove, Alberta
Height 6’3″ — Weight 213 lbs [191 cm/97 kg]

Skating

Schaefer is a good but not great skater. His stride is powerful and also gives him good acceleration. Once he gets past a defender, he can drop his shoulder and drive to the front of the net. His top-end speed is above average but Schaefer is not confused for a burner by any means. Schaefer has good edge work and agility. He can weave in and out of traffic and move laterally to find open space. This allows him to find open ice. Schaefer also shows power and balance in his stride. He can fight through checks and get to the front of the net. Schaefer is strong and wins battles in the corners and in front of the net. He should continue to improve this aspect of his game as he grows and matures.

Offensive Game

Schaefer is a power forward. He has a heavy shot and is very accurate. He can score from further out from the net. His shot is helped by a lightning-quick release. Schaefer has the hands to vary his release point and fool goalies with a quick toe drag. He can also score goals with his one-timer. Schaefer loves to drive the net, both with and without the puck. With his size, he is hard to move out from the slot. His quick hands also allow him to deke goalies and elevate the puck quickly in tight to the net. He can score on deflections, rebounds, and quickly one-timing a pass from a teammate. When Schaefer gets to the front of the net, he causes havoc and creates issues for opposing goalies seeing the puck.

There are some questions about Schaefer’s playmaking ability. He controls plays down low on the cycle game but seems to stick to the safe pass on the perimeter. He is not that creative in attempting to create a cross-ice pass to set up a teammate. Schaeffer can also skate himself into turnovers at times, moving the puck into an area where he is surrounded by defenders. He does a good job of using his size on the forecheck. He forces defenders to make plays before they want to and will throw a big hit if he gets an opportunity. Schaefer also wins battles on the boards and retrieves loose pucks. He does a good job of finding openings in the defence, being open for a pass from a teammate.

Defensive Game

Schaefer is also a good defensive player. He is good positionally and uses his size and active stick to cut down passing lanes. He also is willing to put his body on the line in order to block shots. Schaefer is willing to support the defence down low. He uses his size to defend against the cycle game and keep opponents to the outside and away from good shooting areas. He is physical and able to win battles along the boards. When a turnover is created, Schaefer is able to skate the puck out of danger and make a good first pass to start the transition game.

Projection and Comparison

A late September birthday, Schaefer is one of the older players in the draft class. He should spend one more year in the WHL before moving up to the NHL. Players with his power forward style often take a little time to transition to the pro game as they play against men. As a result, the team that drafts Schaefer will need to be patient and prepared to see him in junior/AHL hockey for two to three years before he is ready for the NHL.

Schaefer improved his skating this season. If he can continue to do that and improve his playmaking, Schaefer could be a top-six winger in the NHL. If the offence doesn’t translate, Schaefer still has the size and skating ability to develop into a bottom-six player in the NHL. His game is reminiscent of Josh Anderson. This is a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Reid Schaefer that are available on youtube and Twitter.

 

Check back later for our next article on the 2022 NHL Draft.

 

Reid Schaefer Scouting Report Main Photo: