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Breakdown: Nashville acquires Cole Schneider in exchange for Connor Brickley

A team addressing an obvious need and shipping out a clear struggle? Unheard of.

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The Nashville Predators have traded forward Connor Brickley to the New York Rangers for forward Cole Schneider. Brickley was signed to a one-year contract by Nashville on July 1 after appearing in 44 games for the Florida Panthers last season and totaling 12 points. Although Brickley has never been a consistently prolific scorer in the AHL (he has maxed out at 47 points), he was brought in to add veteran scoring for Milwaukee and hasn’t exactly worked out. I’ve highlighted Brickley’s struggles in previous weekly posts, but they really can’t be overstated. He only managed 11 points in 39 games for the Admirals. That 0.28 points per game is the third-worst among Milwaukee players with 20+ games played—ahead of just Jeremy Gregoire and Filip Pyrochta.

So, who did the Predators manage to flip Brickley for? Enter Cole Schneider.

By The Numbers

Schneider’s Career Statistics
eliteprospects.com

After an impressive NCAA career in Connecticut, the undrafted Schneider earned an NHL deal with the Senators and impressed in the AHL right away.

Schneider was acquired by Buffalo at the 2016 deadline in the famous Phil Varone–Alex Guptill deal (we all remember where we were) and built upon his AHL success. Schneider saw his first two games of NHL action and scored 14 points in 19 games for Rochester after producing AHL seasons with 0.58, 0.78, 0.84, and 0.78 points per game.

Schneider had his best offensive season in 2016-17, scoring 0.89 points per game for Rochester and recording his first NHL point.

Schneider was signed by the New York Rangers in July of 2017, and his offensive production has dipped a bit, but he is on pace to rebound this season with 25 points in 36 games.

Schneider instantly becomes the leading scorer on an Admirals team that has struggled to score this season. Of his 25 points, 21 are primary points, which would lead the Admirals (tied with Anthony Richard).

His 82 shots are second on the Admirals behind Nicholas Baptiste’s 85, and his 15.85% shooting percentage is second only to Anthony Richard at 17.57%.

All in all, Scott Nichol essentially acquired a first-line scorer in exchange for one of the worst-producing players on the team.

The Eye-Test

All around I find Schneider to be a very solid AHL player: good offensive awareness, speed, strong takeaway abilities, and gets physical when needs to.

Above we see a goal from Schneider—#10 in blue—from just last week. Notice how after he provides support on the forecheck to recover position, he moves into a great puck support position below the goal line. Then, he goes for a quick scoring chance in tight, finds open ice, moves the puck low to high (dragging the defense up higher in the slot), and sneaks behind them for a rebound.

Above we see Schneider on the power play. He shifts to open ice below the goal line—again moving the puck low to high to cause trouble for defenders and the goalie—goes for the pass, and finds an open rebound in the process.

Simple play from Schneider above: he breaks up the play at the blue line to create a breakaway for himself, then showssome nice finish for a beauty of a goal.

The Contract

Schneider is in the second year of a two-year deal given to him by the New York Rangers. He comes with a NHL salary and cap hit of $650K and a $350K salary in Milwaukee. Upon expiry, Schneider will be an unrestricted free agent.


Simply put, this trade does not affect Nashville. But I think it’s a fantastic move: moving on from an off-season decision that wasn’t working and acquiring legitimate AHL scoring. This should pay off well for Milwaukee down the stretch.

All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com and prospect-stats.com. All contract information is courtesy of capfriendly.com.