Braden Schneiders rookie impact

Braden Schneider’s rookie impact was certainly a fun one to watch. Called up to replace Nils Lundkvist –who didn’t really get a fair shake due to no fault of his own, more on that in a different post– Schneider instantly made his presence felt as the 3RD. We knew the kid was going to throw his body around, and his scouting report was more of a defensive defenseman that did just that, throw his body around. But he was a first round pick because he could do more than just hit people.

The biggest surprise to many was that Schneider was not only calm with the puck, he was jumping into the play offensively. That led to a 2-9-11 scoring line in 43 games with no powerplay time. That’s pretty good for a 20 year old. As always, especially with rookie defensemen, there is certainly room to grow.

This came up previously when, and I’m not linking to it, someone said that Schneider had a bad rookie season. There’s nothing inherently bad here when you add nuance to the RAPM chart here. The offensive numbers don’t look good, but the theme of last season was being one-and-done in the offensive zone. Most of the Rangers roster had poor offensive play driving numbers, so this really shouldn’t shock anyone. As the Rangers get a little better at keeping the puck in the offensive zone, we will see those number improve.

Defensively, this is all you can really ask for from a 20 year old rookie playing mostly with Patrik Nemeth or Justin Braun. The Rangers gave up a decent amount of shots against, but were pretty good at limiting quality. It’s a general statement, and obviously some were better than others, but Schneider sitting where he is above is just fine for a rookie.

Braden Schneider’s rookie impacts may be a bit overstated though, as he did play most of his time with a Rangers team that loaded up at the trade deadline. Playing on a team that doesn’t have Greg McKegg moonlighting as the 3C certainly leads to looking better on the ice. But that isn’t on Schneider. He came into a situation and he showed he belongs for now. He wasn’t great, but he wasn’t bad. The goal for next year is to see improvement across the board.

Grade: B-


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