However, Schneider never had the opportunity to play with his hometown WHL club after he was drafted 12th overall by the Brandon Wheat Kings at the 2016 Bantam Draft. Schneider made his debut in the 2016-2017 season where he played in one regular-season game and three playoff games. He also recorded his first-ever WHL playoff assist during those three games.
Moving forward to the 2017-2018 season, the native of Prince Albert joined the Wheat Kings full-time. In his rookie season, he added up 22 points and another six playoff points. He was also the captain for Team Canada White at the 2017 World Under-17 Challenge. They ended up losing 2-1 in the bronze medal game.
During his 24 point campaign last year with Brandon, Schneider had another opportunity to play for Team Canada. This time he was on the Under-18 team for the IIHF World Under-18 Championships. After going 4-0 in the round-robin, the team was upset against the Czech Republic, 2-1, in the quarter-finals.
Returning to the Wheat City for another season with the Wheat Kings, Schneider exploded throughout the course of the 2019-2020 season. He posted a career-high 42 points in 60 games, 18 more than what he had last season. In fact, dating back to his Bantam hockey days back in Prince Albert, his 42 points were the most he’s ever recorded in a single season.
When the season was postponed and then canceled, the Wheat Kings still had five regular-season games so it was likely that Schneider would have at least tied his junior career-high in goals of eight, a total that he put up last season. He had seven this season.
“I think I came into this season with a lot more confidence and I was getting more opportunities as well,” said Schneider. “In the past, I was really focusing on my defensive side of the game and I just felt that I could add some more offence to become a more complete player. I think I did that and it was a pretty good season for me.
The 2016 12th overall pick has certainly been noticed across the WHL but also, around the hockey world in general. He was named to this year’s Eastern Conference’s First All-Star team. He was joined alongside his teammate, Jiri Patera, who had a fantastic season in net for Brandon.
It’s the first time that Schneider has been named to the First All-Star team.
“That’s a huge honour for sure, the Western Hockey League produces a ton of really good players,” continued Schneider. “To be recognized as one of the few to get honoured, it’s quite special. It’s also great that I’m joined by Jiri, he was phenomenal this season.”
The personal accolades didn’t stop there for the Wheat King defenceman. 52 players in the league were named to the 2020 NHL Central Scouting final rankings. Kaiden Guhle of the Raiders came in as the top-ranked WHLer. Just behind him is Schneider who is ranked ninth when it comes to North American skaters. His teammate, Ridly Greig is ranked 14th while Ben McCartney, also of Brandon, is pegged at 153rd.
“I’ve been paying attention to those things more now because I’m not playing,” said Schneider. “It’s just a ranking, but it’s a pretty solid feeling. It’s a nice spot to end the season at.”
Braden is now back in Prince Albert working out in his home gym as he prepares for the 2020-2021 season.
Prior to next season, Schneider is hoping to hear his name called at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The Prince Albert native is a top prospect eligible and it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear his name sooner rather than later. The Draft was originally scheduled for late June in Montreal; however, it has been postponed because of COVID-19. None the less, when the day comes, it’s going to be a special one and one that the Wheat King has been waiting for his entire life.
“I think that every one that is draft-eligible circles the days on their calendar. No one is sure when it will take place right now, but it’s going to be a pretty surreal moment when I hear my name called,” he continued.
Schneider will return to Brandon in late August for training camp as Brandon prepares for next season. After winning 35 games this season, the third-most in the East Division, the top prospect is ready for what should be another solid campaign.
“I think it’s going to be a big year for us,” concluded. “I think we have a really good squad moving into next year and I can’t wait to get things going. We have things to prove and we’ll be ready to do so.”