Prospects News & Rumors: Schneider, Rathbone & Holloway

The New York Rangers signed top prospect Braden Schneider to an entry-level contract on Wednesday. Vancouver Canucks prospect Jack Rathbone recorded his first American Hockey League goal, and Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Holloway was named NCAA Men’s Hockey Player of the Month for February.

Rangers Sign Schneider to Entry-Level Contract

The Rangers announced that they’ve agreed to a standard three-year, entry-level contract for Braden Schneider. Drafted 19th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season in the Western Hockey League with the Brandon Wheat Kings. He recorded seven goals and 35 assists in 60 games played, ranked fifth in team scoring and 16th among WHL defensemen. He represented Canada at the 2021 World Junior Championship, winning a silver medal and recording one goal and two assists in six games played.

THW’s Mathieu Sheridan broke down what Schneider offers the Rangers organization after he was drafted:

With Schneider, the team gets a player who can come in and be a solid, reliable player on the blue line. While his offensive game is still growing, he is great in the defensive zone. With guys like K’Andre Miller, Nils Lundkvist and Adam Fox on the blue line, he adds to an already very solid pool of players and will certainly be a well-known name in the Big Apple in a few years’ time.

Schneider has played two games for the Hartford Wolf Pack in the American Hockey League this season, recording one assist. He is set to return to the Wheat Kings for the 2020-21 WHL season as the newly named captain after serving as an alternate captain for the past two seasons.

Rathbone Scores First AHL Goal

Canucks prospect Jack Rathbone has adjusted to life in the AHL fairly quickly and recorded his first professional goal in the Utica Comets’ 4-2 loss to the Rochester Americans on Wednesday night. His goal came on the power play in the third period and cut Rochester’s leads to one goal. Rathbone burst onto the scene with a three-assist effort in his first AHL game on Feb. 26 and he has at least one point in each of his three games for a total of one goal and four assists.

THW Canucks contributor Matthew Zator broke down what makes Rathbone such an exciting prospect in an in-depth article earlier this year.

Rathbone’s skating and hockey IQ is what will get him there, as everything he does just looks effortless. His passes are almost always tape-to-tape, and his zone entries are smooth as silk. If you go and re-watch his games from last season, you will notice that he rarely dumps the puck in, opting to either skate it in or make a perfect pass to a teammate. That’s an amazing attribute to have, especially with how the game is played right now in the NHL.

Drafted 95th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the American defenseman has had a meteoric rise. He was drafted out of the high-school system and eventually made his way to Harvard University in the NCAA. He spent two seasons with Harvard, recording seven goals and 22 points in 33 games during the 2018-19 season and seven goals and 31 points in 28 games played during the 2019-20 season.

Holloway Named National Player of the Month

Oilers’ prospect and the University of Wisconsin forward Dylan Holloway was named NCAA Men’s Hockey Player of the Month for February after he led the league in scoring with six goals and 17 points in eight games, helping the Badgers to a 6-1-1 record. Holloway has exploded in his sophomore season, almost doubling his point totals from his freshman campaign in half the number of games. He had 17 points in 35 games during the 2019-20 season and now has 11 goals and 22 assists in 18 games played. His 1.83 points-per-game average is second in the NCAA, trailing only David Farrance of Boston University (1.88).

THW’s Eugene Helfrick had this to say about Holloway’s perceived fit into the Oilers’ plans.

Holloway is a perfect player to slot into Edmonton’s prospect pool. While he has the size, hockey IQ, and skating ability of a top-six forward, he will need some time to develop the scoring aspects of his game. If they are willing to take the time to let him develop, however, Edmonton could have a real stud power forward on their hands.

It might be a couple of seasons before Oilers fans will see Holloway in an NHL uniform. The Calgary, Alberta-native would have to forego his NCAA eligibility and sign a professional contract to make the leap to the NHL. He’ll finish this season with Wisconsin and likely assess his options at the end of it. There’s no question that when he does make the switch, he will give the Oilers a different type of player who complements the dynamic skill they already have.

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