New York Rangers prospect Braden Schneider had a big season as the captain of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. Today, he was named the East Division’s Defenseman of the Year for helping the Wheat Kings claim the division title.
He captained the Wheat Kings to the East Division title totalling 27 points from the blue line, @NYRangers prospect Braden Schneider is the East Division Defenceman of the Year presented by @remaxwesterncan.#WHLAwards | @bdnwheatkings pic.twitter.com/6qT9z1dsfc— The WHL (@TheWHL) June 1, 2021
Schneider, the Rangers’ 19th pick of the 2020 Draft, was third among WHL blueliners in scoring with 27 points in 22 games — fellow Rangers’ blue line prospect Matthew Robertson finished fifth among WHL in scoring with 22 points in 22 games. Schneider averaged 2.2 SOG/GP and scored four of his five goals at even-strength this year. Those were impressive numbers for Schneider, who had 42 points in 60 games in the 2019-20 campaign for the Wheat Kings. The year prior, in 2018-19, he had 24 points in 58 games.
In addition to the time he spent in the WHL, Schneider also played two games in the AHL with the Wolf Pack and represented Canada at the U20 Worlds and is currently in Latvia with Team Canada at the 2021 World Championship. On May 30, against Team Italy, Schneider picked up his first point of the 2021 Worlds on a Cole Perfetti goal.
All things considered, Schneider had a very busy year — which is certainly not bad news for his development as a young blueliner. The right-handed blue line prospect has had a really promising post-draft season, especially considering the chaos of the pandemic. At the moment, Schneider’s eventual path to the Rangers appears to be a smooth road.