Schmidt Excited to be a Warrior After Thursday's WHL Prospects Draft
For the fourth time in the last six drafts, the Moose Jaw Warriors went with a defenceman in the first round of the WHL Prospects Draft.
Moose Jaw used the 14th overall selection to take five-foot-11 defenceman Connor Schmidt from the Okanagan Hockey Academy under-15 prep team.
Schmidt said he's looking forward to adding to the group that's come before him with the likes of Daemon Hunt, Denton Mateychuk and Marek Howell.
"That's very exciting," he said. "There's a lot of good defencemen on the back end and I'm really excited to play with them."
As excited as Schmidt is to be a Warrior, the team's front office was equallypleased to see his name still available when they went on the clock in the first round.
"I think he's a pretty special player," Warriors general manager Jason Ripplinger said. "Anytime you get a puck-moving defenceman that can create offence, jump into the play, make a first pass, you have to take them."
Schmidt posted 12 goals and 32 points in 30 games with the OHA U15 prep team during the 2021-22 season.
He said he sees himself as an all-around defenceman.
"I love to skate and provide offence, play physical and I always like to shut down in the defensive zone, make good breakout passes and keep stuff simple," Schmidt said.
The Sturgeon County, AB product was a nominee for the Canadian Sport School Hockey League's Top Defenceman Award in the U15 Prep Division.
He posted four assists in five games for Team Grey at the Alberta Cup.
Schmidt took his game to another level after the Christmas break with OHA, picking up a point in 11 of his last 13 games, including eight multi-point games.
He had two goals and a season-high five points in a 10-0 win for OHA over West Van Academy on Feb. 12.
"I was really focusing on defence and then I decided to pick up my offensive game and really focused on playing a complete game and the offence just came," Schmidt said.
Schmidt said he's been to Moose Jaw and Mosaic Place before and is excited to get back to the rink for training camp this fall.
"It's a great small town," he said.
The Warriors made eight total selections during Thursday's WHL Prospects Draft, click here for a full recap.
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