What a year it’s been for Braden Schneider. The New York Rangers’ 2020 first-round pick (19th overall) has just been named the winner of the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the WHL’s Defenseman of the Year.
From the WHL’s release:
Schneider, a first-round selection of the New York Rangers in the 2020 NHL Draft, led the Wheat Kings to the East Division championship, posting 27 points (5G-22A) during the 2020-21 WHL season. His point total was third-best among WHL blueliners, and the product of Prince Albert, Sask. finished second among WHL defencemen in assists and game-winning goals (two). Schneider’s 15 power-play helpers were second-most among all WHL skaters.
What a year it has been for for Braden Schneider...— Brandon Wheat Kings (@bdnwheatkings) June 8, 2021
Drafted by @NYRangers - ✅
World Junior Silver Medal - ✅
AHL Debut - ✅
WHL Subway Cup Champion - ✅
World Championship Gold Medal - ✅
WHL Defenceman of the Year - ✅https://t.co/muRrvmIcsq#whl #bdnmb pic.twitter.com/IJOtb1ZFeF
Just a week ago, Schneider was named the WHL’s East Divison Defenseman of the Year. He also just won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2021 World Championship in Riga Latvia — a team coached by Gerard Gallant, who many have pegged as a favorite to be the Blueshirts’ next bench boss.
In a year that will be viewed as an obstruction to the development of countless prospects and young players, Schneider seemed to seize every opportunity he was given. He averaged just 3:04 TOI/GP for Team Canada at the Worlds but picked up an assist and is coming home with a gold medal after claiming a silver at the World Juniors.
Past winners of the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy include Ty Smith, Ethan Bear, Ivan Provorov, Shea Theodore, Tyson Barrie, and Dion Phaneuf.