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The Next Step

Candice Ward/Photo

It’s onto a new chapter.

Nick Schneider headed into last week’s Flames development camp with a different focus than in year’s past.

That’s because the recent WHL grad is set to take the next step in his career.

“It’s exciting knowing that I’ll officially be turning pro,” said Schneider. “To say I’m going pro is something new to me but I’m looking forward to everything that comes with it.

“I was very fortunate to play five years in the WHL and had a lot of great memories in Regina, Medicine Hat and Calgary. The year I spent in Calgary I’ll never forget. I made a lot of great friendships that will continue on in the future.”

The 20-year-old goaltender has already gotten a little taste of what it’s like to play in the pro ranks, with two separate stints in the AHL with the Stockton Heat.

In 2015, Schneider appeared in nine games with the Heat, setting a mark of 4-5 with a 3.92 GAA and a .876 SV%. His second time around with the Flames affiliate club came this past season after the Hitmen wrapped up the 2017/18 regular season, playing one period for the Heat.

“Having those two stints helped me a lot to know what it takes to be there,” he said. “A couple years ago I got to play some games, while this year it was more on the development side. I worked a lot with the goalie coach and in the gym.

“I’m doing everything I can to get better and if I put the work in, hopefully everything will fall into place. I want to try and make the big club, that’s everyone’s goal when they graduate from junior hockey.”

Schneider has certainty put in the work to make that jump as he has been busy this off-season training with on- and off-ice sessions, looking to add more strength and quickness to his lateral movement.

“Anytime when you come to a camp like the one this past weekend, you want to stick to your strengths but obviously there are little tweaks here and there you have to make,” he said.

“I’ve been sticking to the process of past off-seasons. I’ll work out back home in Edmonton and then I come down to Calgary at least once a week to skate with my goalie coach.”

Through his five years in the Dub, Schneider stared down a lot of shooters. This past season, alone, the goaltender set a new franchise record with 1,651 saves.

Some of those stops came against fellow Flames prospects, who have now gone from rivals to potential teammates.

“There are lot of guys who you know who they are but you maybe never met them before,” he said. “You play against them for four/five years and now you hang out togeter and get to know them better both off the ice and on.

“It’s the neat thing about camps with the friendships you make and the people you meet. Hopefully we’ll be teammates in the next couple of years.”

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