Predators land ‘professional package deal’ first-rounder, business pickup in Reed Schaefer

Reid Schaefer do not have had the previous few years some other means.

After completing his 1/3 season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League with 58 issues (32g–26a) thru 66 contests, the younger ahead led his membership to 21–25 issues within the WHL Championship Collection thru 25 post-season appearances. Proceeded with the purpose display.

Weeks later, the Edmonton, Alberta local was once on degree on the Bell Heart dressed in his house staff’s jersey after the Oilers went thirty second general within the 2022 NHL Draft. A couple of weeks after that, the younger prospect was once at his first Nationwide Hockey League coaching camp sharing the ice sheet with hockey heroes Connor McDavid and Leon Draisitl.

The joys did not finish right here.

In December, Schaefer recorded an help en path to a gold medal with Group Canada on the 2022 IIHF International Junior Championships – his first trip at the International Junior degree and two months later the defenseman was once traded to the Nashville Predators tyson barry And 2 choices for veteran blueliner Mattias Ekholm.

Talking from the Thunderbirds’ observe facility in Kent, Wash., on Monday afternoon, Schaefer did a just right task of summarizing it:

“It is gotten beautiful loopy,” he laughed. “However I would not trade it for the arena.”

It sort of feels that hunters won’t trade the rest.

Whilst Nashville in the long run completed the primary day of the 2022 draft with Joakim Kemmel at No. 17, hobby in Schaefer by no means waned.

Finally, who would not need a 6-foot-4, 214-pound energy ahead with one of the crucial highest numbers within the Western League?

“Now we have preferred him for some time, and we in point of fact preferred him closing yr,” mentioned Scott Nicol, Predators’ assistant normal supervisor and director of participant building. “He has measurement, energy, a super free up and just a little little bit of edge too. He has a professional package deal. We left an excellent participant right here and you’ve got to present one thing to get one thing.” So we’re very excited to have him as part of our staff.”

Whilst the closing one year most likely handed within the blink of an eye fixed, now not a unmarried day went unearned. Actually, most likely extra attention-grabbing than the ahead’s skill to get at the scoresheet night time after night time is the adventure that took him there.

In his first seven video games with the Thunderbirds within the 2019–20 season, Schaefer recorded just one help. All through the Western League’s COVID-shortened season in 2020, Schaefer averaged best two issues – each assists – thru 18 video games.

However Schaefer saved grinding, and because the puck started to seek out the again of the web extra incessantly, the younger winger’s worth as a possible draft select started trending — moderately astronomically — in the fitting path.

Ranked No. 85 in NHL Central Scouting’s midseason document and projected as a third- or fourth-round select, Schaefer rocketed all of the approach to No. 31 within the company’s ultimate document prior to the draft.

“I wasn’t even ranked as a draft prospect prior to the season began,” he mentioned. “However I used to be generating and getting pucks within the web and I used to be taking part in with extra self belief. I used to be simply getting just a little bit extra alternatives and simply ran with it.”

Since then, the alternatives have not stopped coming, and Schaefer presentations no indicators of slowing down.

After finishing his first NHL coaching camp with pre-season contests in opposition to the Winnipeg Jets and Seattle Kraken, Schaefer went again to the Thunderbirds with a way of decision identified best to people who have performed hockey on its largest degree. have skilled.

“You get an opportunity to look firsthand what the following stage must be,” he mentioned. “If you end up working towards with guys like McDavid and Draisitl, you notice how professional they’re and there is a reason why they are the highest two avid gamers within the league. So it was once particular to observe, however clearly it is helping you.” Displays how briskly it’s.” It is subsequent stage and how briskly issues transfer.”

Now in his fourth marketing campaign with Seattle, Schafer is simply 5 issues clear of eclipsing closing season’s issues overall with 16 fewer video games beneath his belt.

Schaefer mentioned, ‘I am simply taking part in my recreation. “Issues are going my means, I am taking part in with self belief and my teammates make it simple for me. Now we have were given a staff right here in Seattle and a large number of intensity all over the lineup, so it does not in point of fact topic.” That is who I am taking part in with. Issues are going neatly production-wise and I have were given to stay doing that right here to get into the playoffs.”

With the Thunderbirds already US Department Champions and post-season favorites, Schaefer will no doubt be known as upon to steer his teammates for any other shot on the Ed Chynoweth Cup and – by means of extension – the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup.

It is this intensity of revel in mixed with an outstanding talent set that provides Nicholl self belief that Schaefer can take the plunge to the pro stage — whether or not in Milwaukee or a step additional — very quickly.

“She’s able,” mentioned Nicole. “In his thoughts, he is almost certainly pondering — as he must be — that he must pop out of coaching camp and struggle for a place within the NHL. That is the place I believe his mindset comes from his measurement and his pedigree of taking part in.” Western leagues and that taste of play and that piece of play … if that is going to suit our machine and our lifestyle and the way we increase folks and the way we encourage them and If we make him a hit, he’ll be the Nashville Predators of lengthy.”

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