Nick Schneider’s had an interesting year. After being passed over in the 2015 NHL Draft, he was signed by the Calgary Flames during training camp after a pretty decent showing while filling in for some injured NHL netminders. Then he wobbled between being Medicine Hat’s starter and back-up during some early-season struggles, then won the crease from veteran Mack Shields during the stretch drive. His Western Hockey League season ended on Tuesday due to a tie-breaker game loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings.
But Schneider’s hockey season will continue, as the 18-year-old has been reassigned by the Flames to the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat.
Schneider becomes Stockton’s back-up goalie by default, as the team’s been dressing try-out goalie Mark Owuya due to an injury to usual back-up Kent Simpson. Presumably Schneider bumps Owuya back to the ECHL.
The Heat have 10 games left on their schedule and their playoff hopes are rapidly fading, though they’re not officially eliminated yet. You’ve got to wonder if the Heat get Schneider into a game, particularly given they have two sets of back-to-back games remaining on their docket. Even if Schneider doesn’t play, getting a taste of the pro lifestyle and seeing how pro goaltenders prepare for games can only do good things to prepare him for his eventual full-time pro career – which due to his age won’t start until 2017-18.
In 50 games with the Tigers this season, Schneider had a 21-26-1 record with a 3.62 goals against average and .896 save percentage. He turns 19 in July.