Moose Jaw Warriors

Schmidt Set for Stretch Run in Rookie Season with Warriors

February 23, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Moose Jaw Warriors News Release

Lethbridge, AB - The Moose Jaw Warriors have loaded up the bus and headed to the United States after opening their eight-game road trip in the Central Division.

For the majority of the Warriors' roster, this is the first trip down to the U.S. Division in their Western Hockey League careers.

For Warriors rookie defenceman Connor Schmidt, he is heading out for his first extended road trip to the Western Conference.

"It's going to be an exciting road trip," Schmidt said. "There's going to be a lot of cool experiences."

The Warriors will play all six U.S. Division teams in a span of ten days, travelling across Washington and Oregon.

Schmidt said he's looking forward to spending a lot of time together as a team and learning about the grind of a big road trip.

"It's a lot of games in a short period of time, not a lot of rest," he said. "It's going to be super fun to be here with the guys every day."

Schmidt is in his first season with the Warriors after being selected by the team in the first round of the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft.

In 34 games this season, the Sturgeon County, AB product has picked up two goals and five assists, while posting a minus-five plus/minus rating and 33 penalty minutes.

"I've settled in here quite nicely and I just want to keep getting my game better and keep getting faster," Schmidt said.

Last season, Schmidt had the opportunity to play in six regular season games and spend time with the team during the WHL Playoffs.

He said that experience helped him prepare for his first full season with the team.

"It was good to be up [with the team] for a bit and spending time in the playoffs to see how it really is being a WHL player and that prepared me for this year," Schmidt said.

Making the jump into the WHL has been an adjustment for Schmidt.

"It was definitely the speed of play, you really have to get your head up and make quick plays and simple plays," he said.

With the Warriors being one of the top teams in the WHL this season, that means a more veteran lineup.

Schmidt said it's been frustrating being in and out of the lineup throughout the season, but he's been focused on trying to get better and earn his ice time.

"Trying to stay sharp off the ice and getting in the gym, getting stronger and then making the most of practice to keep getting better to get your chance on the ice to show your true skill and hopefully stay in the lineup," he said.

"You've got to gain the trust from the coaching staff to show that they can put you out in different situations and just being sharp every day and getting better every day."

Schmidt and the Warriors will open the U.S. Division portion of the road trip on Friday night in Kennewick, WA against the Tri-City Americans.

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