Braden Schneider scouting report

With their second first round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, the Rangers took defenseman Braden Schneider. It was a bit of a surprise, since there were a bunch of other more “popular” names on the board. But Schneider was still #17 on Bob McKenzie’s draft board so the Rangers weren’t reaching. They moved up from #22, packaged with the #72, to move up the three spots to grad him. The scouting report on Braden Schneider is a three zone defenseman who delivers big hits and is an excellent skater.

This season, the righty defenseman put up 7-35-42 in 60 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings. This was a big increase from his 8-16-24 last season.

It’s worth noting that I am no draft expert. I did a lot of Googling and Youtubing. You should be checking out sites like Future ConsiderationsElite ProspectsDobber Hockey, and others on Twitter (@SternScouting@ManUtdTobbe@aj_ranger, and I’m sure I missed a bunch).

Scouting Report

The scouting report on Schneider is a three zone player who is an excellent skater. He’s also very strong on his skates, which makes him difficult to knock off the puck and win battles in front of the net. At 18 years old he’s already 6’2″ and 200 lbs, so his strength should only get better as he develops more.

Schneider has solid hands and is a good puck mover. He’s not going to wow you, but he’s fundamentally sound and has a great first pass. This makes him a great asset in the transition game. Think Anton Stralman – he moves the puck up but isn’t going to be the guy you count on to gain the zone. Schneider also has a good shot with a quick release. One of his strengths is getting his shots on net, opening up rebound opportunities for his teammates. He sees the zone very well.

Schneider’s highlight reel is filled with big hits. That’s something he brings is an ability to deliver that hit without taking himself out of position. The emphasis here is on not taking himself out of position. He’s solid with his positioning and gap control, which is critical when going for those big hits. When he’s not delivering the big hit, he has an active stick in passing lanes. He had tremendous vision, which helps him read plays and anticipate passes for turnovers.


Schneider is a very talented player. Initially after the pick, there were too many comparisons to Dylan McIlrath, since the Rangers took a defenseman that can deliver a big hit. However the scouting report on Braden Schneider is the exact opposite. Those comparisons were knee-jerk and not based on anything tangible.

Schneider isn’t going to make the immediate jump to the NHL. He needs development time. Expect him to spend at least another two seasons in the WHL before turning pro. At his absolute peak potential, Schneider can be a top pairing defenseman. More realistically, assuming he pans out, Schneider is more likely a top-four defenseman.

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  • Well done David, this is about right on Schneider, based on what I have been reading, on various sites. Yeah, I think that top 4 is about right, probably not top pair, but who knows?

    It was just a curious pick, not Schneider at 19, because this was not a reach at all, but because of what you said, that there were some good offensive players available, even if they stayed at 22.

    It’s obvious the Rangers wanted this guy, and they got him with a more than fair trade cost. What makes this better is that they did well in round 5 to make up for the loss of this 3rd round pick. So, in that way, it really worked out.

  • Nice write up. I don’t think any of the draftniks see top pair potential though. The curious thing is that Trouba, Fox and Nils will all still be fairly young in 3 years.

    • Exactly. By the time Trouba’s contract finishes, Schneider will likely be arbitration eligible. So you moved up to draft a 3rd pair D so you can *hopefully* get 3 years of cost controlled top 4 play.

      I know he would’ve been gone if they waited, but that’s not how you generate value.

  • “Schneider can be a top pairing defenseman. More realistically, assuming he pans out, Schneider is more likely a top-four defenseman”.

    I’ll take him on this basis alone.

    What we are going to like is he CAN skate, is physical, and his game is balanced. By that I mean he can defend, as well as add offense, great combination.

    At 6’2″, and over 200lbs already, and growing, come on what’s not to like about him? He will clear the crease easily, wow what a concept!!!!

    “He’s solid with his positioning and gap control, which is critical when going for those big hits. When he’s not delivering the big hit, he has an active stick in passing lanes. He had tremendous vision, which helps him read plays and anticipate passes for turnovers.”

    With the wealth of defensmen coming up in a few years, terrific…………..

    The future defensive line up could very well be:


    ADA or Lindqvist

    Now tell me we don’t have a nice stable full of terrific kids in the pipeline!!!!

      • MBN

        True, but truth be known, Trouba isn’t a push over as well. Robertson is a big guy, not sure if his game is as physical as the others, but he wouldn’t surprise me either, being a good two way player……………..

    • Walt, you don’t have Lindkvist in your top 6 pairings, who may be the best out of all of them, lol.

      • Richter1994

        Until he signs, can’t place him anywhere. LOL.

        There have been rumors that he may try to wait until he can sign elsewhere?????????? Hope that’s not true…….

  • Idg all the hate this pick is getting (In some places). Hes not a reach, and seems like hell be an nhl player. Which is all what being first round is supposed to mean (at 50%) rate. If y’all really wanted a CENTER they had the best one staring at them in the face, so that’s who they shoulda taken, right ?.

  • Comparing Schneider to DM is like comparing manure to gold. Those early comps were really stupid and ignorant. He is much closer to being NHL ready than most people think too. Excellent pick at where we took him.

    • Sup pal.. Hope that you and la famiglia are well….In building on my post below, it looks like we have a bunch of good looking D man……but I think we are wasting the elite years of our two top offensive players..JD keeps insisting and informing the fan base to please be patient…..As a 60 year old Ranger fan, I am on the clock…lol……

  • Dave–nice article. More importantly I want to commend you on being self aware (unlike 99% of hockey bloggers) regarding your credentials/ability. This is refreshing in a world of where too many people actually believe they know more about hockey than professionals who have experience/expertise/access to a wealth of analytical data. Congrats

  • Nice article. The pick was surprising,and the trade up too. especially since everyone was predicting the Rangers taking a center.
    This was a two fold move.1.Rangers thought the Devils were hot on him. 2.the Rangers weren’t hot on the centers on the board.
    3.As the organization said “we need to be tougher to play against” .
    He was probably the best on the board at that time.

    By all accounts it looks like a solid pick for down the road.
    It’s starting to give the Rangers a blend of players to have on their d corps. (Finesse and Toughness).

  • Yeah, am agreeing with Dave + pretty much everything posted. To keep this short (because I could expound about this in detail), can we remember the last time NYR drafted a center in the first round with the thought that he could immediately play and fill a hole? And those complaints of “but we should have taken a center” either are forgetting the tried-and-true best-player-available strategy and/or did not make a case for why Schneider might not have been a good pick on its own merits, which is amateurish.

    • It looks like we have a bunch of good looking defensive prospects…while that’s all well and good..i keep stressing my issue with this be patient thing JD is this: IMO, we will waste the best years of Panarin and Zibs….Our D is years away from being a very good D unit..and that’s if the D prospects are the real deal…

      • We’re the youngest team in the league! We are not going to challenge for the Cup in 2021 regardless. The window may be in 2022, 2023 at the latest.

        The plan is well established and sound. Blowing it up to maximize the next season or two because the two best forwards are 27 & 28 now is not realistic or wise.

      • You are worried about zib and panarin windows? Or is that AFTER we raffled into kakko and laf?

        I personally don’t get caught up in the window stuff you are always creating new windows to win. 2 years ago who knew we would go from Lundqvist closing to perhaps even greater window?

  • I think the NYR need to continue to use their picks to acquire the best player available. Since these guys are always at least a year or 2 away, we are building a core of talent that we can either promote or use to acquire other players. I think we win an AHL championship that will feed the NYR for years to come.

    • As they learned from the lias fiasco , don’t draft for immediate roster needs. You dont know A. Who will pan out, B. the roster situation in 2 -3 years. C. creating unrealistic expectations for an 18/19 yo.

    • “I think we win an AHL championship that will feed the NYR for years to come.”

      Dude the AHL team is not going anywhere anytime soon. Laffy and Kakko would both need to be there…

      Ignor, Chytil and Lias couldn’t even propel them to a WC spot… Miller and Barron aren’t going to help that.. Lol

  • I love being optimistic, but I was a huge Met fan up until the early 2000s, and I remember the “big 4” pitchers in the 90s, who were going to mow down opponents for a decade.

    If I remember, all 4 had arm trouble with 3 of them having major arm troubles. So, it didn’t work out, at all.

    I hope that does not happen to the Rangers, with what appears to be a very good D man group coming soon.

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