Nick Schneider didn't have a contract when he came to the Calgary Flames' prospects camp. With just Jon Gillies and Mason McDonald available, though, the team wanted another goaltender on hand, so they invited the Medicine Hat Tigers' backup.
That undrafted junior backup now has an NHL contract. He's impressed enough for the Flames to sign the 18-year-old to an entry-level deal. It's unlikely he competes for a spot any time soon, especially as he's now the youngest of the Flames' goaltending prospects, and has the least amount of experience.
He played 27 games for the Tigers, who placed second in the WHL's Central Division, and third in the Eastern Conference in 2014-15. He backed up Marek Langhamer, a 2012 seventh round pick of the Arizona Coyotes. Langhamer posted a .902 save percentage over 50 games; Schneider, .898 in less action.
Langhamer, now 21, is too old to play for the Tigers, so it's likely we see Schneider take over the starting role. He'll be battling with Evan Johnson when he returns to Medicine Hat, but he has the greater resume.
Schneider has seen limited action with the Flames thus far. He played the third period of the final Pentiction game between Flames and Canucks prospects, and had a very nice save with which to introduce himself - at least, before he gave up two goals, neither of which he had much of a chance on, thanks to a brutal turnover and then, an overtime breakaway.
But more on the good save:
Huge 2-on-0 save by 18 year old free agent Nick Schnieder in the third period of Calgary / Vancouver pic.twitter.com/ydXWEVhxaX— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) September 15, 2015
The Flames didn't take a goalie in the 2015 draft, but it turns out, they didn't have to - they got a guy who was actually ranked when waiting to be drafted.
Interesting to note, Schneider was ranked 9th by Central Scouting among North American goalies in this year's draft. #Flames— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) September 23, 2015
Schneider has turned out to be a useful fill-in throughout camps, especially when Gillies potentially sustained a concussion. That said, we have little outside of his camp efforts to base this signing on; Schneider has yet to appear in any preseason games, and really only has that one Penticton period for us to go off of.
Well, that, and a strong camp work ethic - one impressive enough to earn him an NHL deal.