On Tuesday evening, two members of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings heard their names called in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, held virtually from living rooms of prospects from around the world.
First, it was defenceman Braden Schneider who was selected by the New York Rangers 19th overall, before forward Ridly Greig was chosen 28th overall by the Ottawa Senators. Schneider, 19, and Greig, 18, have spent the past number of years as regulars in the Wheaties’ lineup, with the former being a third-year stalwart on the blueline, and the latter having just finished his sophomore campaign up front.
Greig was projected to go somewhere between the end of the first round and the middle of the second round, so he fit in just perfectly at position No. 28. Schneider knows that he is going somewhere where he is wanted, as the Rangers actually traded both their 22nd and 72nd overall selections to the Calgary Flames for the 19th pick, which they used to take the solid 6-foot-2, 205-pound defender.
A Prince Albert, SK. product, Schneider put up seven goals and 42 points in 60 games for Brandon last season, following back-to-back years of 22 and 24 points, respectively. Working on both the power play and penalty kill, this minute-munching blueliner shouldn’t find it difficult to transition to the higher tempo play of the NHL. He was an Eastern Conference First Team All-Star in 2019-20.
Greig, who hails from Lethbridge, AB., is also a physical player, but delivers most of his work in the scoring column of the gamesheet. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound forward put up a career high 26 goals, 34 assists and 60 points in 56 games last season. In 123 total WHL regular season games, the son of Mark Greig has 40 goals and 96 points.