SAN JOSE, California – If Rangers are in the market for a third-party skater to skate, a proper investigation must be conducted within the organization before sacrificing assets to get one in the trade.
That’s why the “blue-shirt” wants to test 20-year-old Braden Schneider, who was called up from the AHL pack of wolves in a swap with Nils Lundqvist on Tuesday.
Indeed, in addition to Wednesday’s training session, Schneider will make his NHL debut on Thursday night against the Sharks. His stay depends entirely on the Saskatchewan guy, with the previous regime swapping two places to finish 19th in 2020, with centers Hendrix Lapierre and Connor Zary on the board.
“Whether it’s short-term or long-term, I’ll try to take advantage of every opportunity I get,” said Schneider, who flew to the right of the tandem with Patrick Nemet. “Whether it’s in training or in a game, I go there and do what I can.
“I want to show that I can play at that level and that I belong here. So, if I can continue to improve myself every day, I think the main goal is to achieve a 1% better result every day and to think positively about it. ”
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Schneider’s thinking should be helped by the fact that Hartford coach Chris Knoblauch is filling the COVD-positive Gerard Gallant behind the bench. Knoblauch also held Schneider for a long time before the start of last year’s delayed WHL season. There is a history of mutual admiration and trust.
“Brayden was a very good player for us at Hartford,” Knoblauch said. “I think he was a very good defender. He is an incredible skater pilot and for his age he is very strong. I think one of the problems players have with coming to the National Hockey League is losing the game, which is like taking a guy off the puck, separating him, and holding the next game.
“Braden is young, but I think if he has the chance, Braden can make that transition a lot easier than the other guys.”
When asked who could compare his game, Schneider responded by dropping the name Shea Weber when asked the same question in pre-project interviews with the teams. Rangers can accept that.
“Maybe I don’t have a strong shot like that, but I think so [of myself] as a sturdy, reliable defender who can only play on both sides of the ice. The key is to take care of your home base and your purpose. I like to be tough and tough on guys who are tough and close to me, and in that I like to pass the puck quickly and do the first ball well.
“I’m not that happy on offense, but I like to think I’m hardworking and get the game up and running as fast as I can.”
According to Gallant, strong, physically fit defenders are necessary for success. This philosophy has been supported by recent playoff seasons, which have shown endless scrumbs around the network. The fact that Gallant was the head coach of the Canadian national team at last year’s World Cup could at least benefit Schneider.
“I got to know him intimately. It was a very tight team that was in the bubble [in Latvia] So we’ve worked with a lot of team builders and got to know everyone intimately, ”Schneider said of the team that won the gold medal despite missing the first three games. “I always talked to Gerard and we had a very good relationship.”
Lundkvist is temporarily lost, but almost forgotten. The 21-year-old Swede will have plenty of playing time with the pack of wolves, which should include a mission in the first power game. Rangers have other internal options on the right in the third pair, but neither Zach Jones nor Libor Hajek has the physical features the staff is looking for. Moving the blessing to the right does not mean a great alternative.
So it was time to look at Schneider. If it stays too long, no one will mind.