One of the worst feelings in the world must be going undrafted during the NHL Entry Draft. Think about it: spending your whole career preparing for the moment that an NHL general manager calls your name in the draft, the countless hours spent training on the ice, and the hard work throughout the years, all to go home disappointed on what should be one of the best days in a prospect’s life.
That’s exactly what goaltender Nick Schneider went through during the 2015 NHL Entry Draft in Florida.
Judged as the ninth best goaltender in the North American pool of goaltenders, he left the BB&T Center in Florida without hearing his name called. But the 18-year-old netminder used it as motivation, and earned himself an opportunity to impress Flames management at training camp as a free agent.
It all started at the Young Stars Classic, and from there Schneider was invited to main camp.
Assistant GM Brad Pascall was quick to mention how highly he thinks of the goaltender:
He was a guy that has impressed over the last couple of weeks,” Pascall said.
“I think his play, his work ethic, his compete, and his attitude has impressed our goalie coaches, our management, and our scouts. We were looking to bring another goaltender into Penticton and he came recommended through a number of people, including our scouts.
“He was a guy that really had an attitude of competing hard and really impressing. What he did was come into camp and impressed. Because of that, we felt that he was a player that we want in our organization and are excited to have in our organization.”
Pascall also mentioned how Schneider’s the latest example of the team’s ‘Always Earned, Never Given’ mantra.
“We live by that,” Pascall said. “Players that are here with that attitude, with that impressive play and work ethic are players that we want in our organization. Nick showed that over the last few weeks. Obviously he’s a young goaltender, but he has a real good development plan going forward that we’re going to be following up with him on.”
He’s currently playing with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers, where in seven games, the netminder has a GAA of 4.08 and a SAV% of .861%, and he’s expected to get better and better every game.