The Rangers made the first pick of the draft selecting Alexis Lafreniere and have now made the first trade of the draft. They move up to 19 in a trade with Calgary to select defenseman, Braden Schneider.
Braden Schneider scouting report
The Rangers just drafted another defenseman from the WHL this season. Last year they took Matthew Robertson and there is a connection growing there. Here’s a brief scouting report from our friend, The Draft Analyst.
A physical presence on the blue line who can counter quickly thanks to his impressive speed and quick thinking, Schneider is a prototypical western Canadian defenseman who relies on poise, smart positioning, and punishing hits to neutralize opposing rushes. Schneider patrols the neutral zone like a shark and has a high success rate when he decides to step up into a play. You rarely see an opponent try to beat him 1-on-1, and they certainly make an effort to maintain awareness when Schneider’s on the ice in order to avoid one of his patented open-ice hits.
On the puck, Schneider is more of a shoot-first defenseman who likes to carry the puck up ice for a dump-in or join as a trailer rather than curl and attempt impressive cross-ice or diagonal set-ups. Still, Schneider enters the zone cleanly most of the time and his speed and sturdy build seem to force opponents well off their line. His d-to-d passes are crisp and accurate while spread wide, and deliveries in tight always seem to have the right touch — you rarely see Schneider put a teammate in a compromising position to save his own bacon from an aggressive forechecker or pressure at his point.
A noteworthy aspect of Schneider’s skating when it pertains to rushing the puck is how effortless his backskating can look in the event he has to immediately transition back to defense. Schneider may be up ice a lot, but he more than makes up for risky behavior by closing fast to neutralize a counterattack. Nonetheless, he stays involved on offense by keeping his feet moving and reacting properly to puck travel, and opponents have to mark him as a high-slot threat any time the puck is being worked around their end.