Braden Schneider knows that his impressive debut in the NHL doesn’t mean he made it as an NHL player.
Although in that debut he joined the Rangers ’blue line without a problem and competed as if he had been the mainstay of the NHL for years – he didn’t pick 19th in the 2020 draft.
Schneider not only gave Rangers a 2-0 lead in his final win in San Jose on Thursday in his first NHL game, but also showed an overall result. He hit a goal, four shots and two setbacks and three shots towards the goal at 14:49 on the ice – which is low for the team’s defense.
The 6-foot Schneider also became the seventh defender in Rangers history to score in his first game in the NHL, along with Thomas Pok, Steve Richmond, Mario Maroua, Ralph Keller, Harry Howell and Joe Jerva.
“I don’t think you can say anything after a game,” the 20-year-old Schneider said after the win. “I am very happy to play, I wanted to show that I can play physically and play at that level. I couldn’t have drawn it better myself. It’s a game and I can’t overdo it, but I’m very happy with how it went. “
Rangers are experimenting with combinations for a third defensive pair, which began when Patrick Nemet was unable to play in four games for personal reasons and Jarred Tinordi was included in the COVID-19 protocol. The Rangers ’bottom pair has been a weak point throughout the season, so Schneider could have an extended look there after Thursday’s game.
Schneider would probably be the first defender to be called up from Rangers Hartford to join the team’s taxi team a few weeks ago, when he was probably not on the COVID-19 protocol. Zach Jones and Matthew Robertson were chosen instead.
While Jones has had relatively good results outside of a rough trip to Vegas, Schneider is more likely to play in the style that general manager and president Chris Drury and head coach Gerard Gallant want.
“He’s a good defender,” said acting coach Chris Knoblauch. “I would like to tell him that he always provides an attacking goal, but I was very proud of him and his game. In the first pair exchanges he played a lot, he played very simple games, passed the puck to the strikers.
“I can’t remember he was on defense all night, it’s his game. I’m glad I rewarded him by scoring a goal while his parents were watching him in town. I’m very happy for him. “
Rangers Jones and strikers Lauri Pajuniemi and Justin Richards returned to Hartford on Friday, opening the door for several Rangers to return from the COVID-19 protocol.
Julien Gauthier and Ryan Reaves could both be active in Saturday’s game in Philadelphia.