Nick Schneider Proving His Worth In Medicine Hat

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.”

Schneider had a plethora of good opportunities during the Flames camp, getting to play an overtime period against Vancouver, and stepping up to the plate when Jon Gilles (concussion), Mason McDonald (undisclosed), and Jonas Hiller (sick) all were out, leaving Schneider with the bulk of the work.

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. 

  • MonsterPod

    Yikes, brutal numbers so far this year in the Hat…they certainly dont re-inforce the article title chosen by the author.

    Strange article title for a guy that so far has been struggling this year and not even the bonafide starter there anymore after they traded for 20 year old starter Austin Lotz a few weeks ago

  • ClayBort

    He’s had a really bad start to the year. Ill double check, but 3 or 4 of his starts this year qualify as RBS (Really Bad Starts). I dont think he’s registered a Quality Start yet. Here’s hoping he can turn it around. He was good in the prospect events for the Flames.

    [Edit] For the 6 games above, his numbers are as follows

    6 starts, 3-3 record

    .861 sv%

    2 Really Bad Starts (RBS), 0.333 RBS% (this is bad, you like this .150 or lower)

    1 Quality Start, .167 QS% (good goalies in their league aim for .650)

    It actually appears as if Schneider has lost the starting gig in the Hat, as he hasn’t played in a while. [edit, started on the 28th after Austin Lotz carried the mail for about 2 weeks]

    For context, these advanced numbers are decent approximations for consistency. A guy that has been heralded based on save percentage, Reimer, actually hasn’t done well in these metrics. That’s a sign that his high save percentage is driven by a few, exceptional performances, with his baseline performance middling to below average. Guys that have done well, many obvious, are Lundqvist, Price, and less surprisingly Brian Elliott. The methodology is stolen from baseball.

      • ClayBort

        correct, I updated above, thanks for the heads up

        FWIW, I agree with the Flames strategy of signing an undrafted goalie. The reason is outside of the first 3 rounds, it’s tough to find a goalie who isn’t a backup on his team unless you go to European junior. In both cases, you’re left choosing a goalie who hasn’t played a ton of games. I would have preferred if the Flames waited a little longer, but there is fruit to be picked here (Martin Jones is a great example)

  • piscera.infada

    I’ve always been a big proponent of junior-aged goalie prospects being completely out of mind. When it comes to drafting them or signing them, you basically just need to see something you like, and hope they run with it.

    Goalies (especially at that age) tend to run hot or cold for long stretches. Frankly, it’s nearly impossible to get a read on a goaltender until they’ve played meaningful minutes in the AHL.

  • piscera.infada

    As the 1st poster mentioned, the Tigers traded for and brought in proven 20 year old starter Austin Lotz earlier in the season.

    With that being said Schneider is found money, we didn’t expend a draft pick or asset to get him so if he pans out great…if not, no harm no foul