2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Reid Schaefer

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2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Reid Schaefer

Chicago Blackhawks

On the day of Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final, we’re continuing our prospect profile series looking at a few young players who might be on the Blackhawks’ radar when they make their first pick (at No. 38 — for now).

So far, we’ve looked at forwards Jack Hughes, Rieger Lorenz, and Noah Östlund. We’re staying with forwards today as we dig into the talents of Reid Schaefer.

Reid Schaefer

Left Wing
DOB: September 21, 2003
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 213
Shoots: Left
2021-22 Team: Seattle (WHL)

Ranked #38 by Corey Pronman (The Athletic)
Ranked #83 by Scott Wheeler (The Athletic)
Ranked #31 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Ranked #79 by TSN/Bob McKenzie
Ranked #39 by Chris Peters
Ranked #21 by TSN/Craig Button
Ranked #97 by Draft Prospects Hockey
Ranked #55 by Smaht Scouting

From Corey Pronman’s Analysis:

Skating: Below NHL average
Puck skills: NHL average
Hockey sense: Below NHL average
Compete: Above NHL average
Shot: Above NHL average

“Schaefer’s NHL appeal is due to being a 6-foot-3 winger with very good puck skills and a scoring touch. He’s able to use his size and hands to create offense around the net, while also having an excellent wrist shot to score from range. He has value away from the work, with a strong work rate, good physicality and can PK. I don’t see Schaefer driving a line as a pro due his so-so speed and hockey sense, but the tools are good enough to carve out a bottom-six role with the potential to play higher in a lineup.”

From Chris Peters’ Analysis:

“The way he’s trending, there’s a good chance he won’t still be on the board at 38, but he might be. He’s a big winger who is scoring at a high clip in the WHL playoffs and has had a huge hand in Seattle reaching the conference finals. Good skater for his size, late bloomer a bit. Really came into his own this year, has some power to him and really solid scoring ability. I think he’s a good fit because he might not be that far away. His development has jumped big time in the last year and he’s a big-time late riser in this draft season.”

From Scott Wheeler’s Analysis:

“Schaefer has always struck me as a straight-line, what-you-see-is-what-you-get, net-driven shooting winger, but the more I watched him this season, the greater my appreciation grew for his ability to make plays. He has been one of the steepest risers in the draft, moving from a “C” rating indicating him as a late-round selection in NHL Central Scouting’s initial players to watch list, to fringe first-round consideration and certainly a second-round selection. He has been outstanding in Seattle’s playoff run, scored 32 goals this year, weighs over 200 pounds, plays like his size and high penalty-minute totals suggest, and scouts like his pro traits and approach.”

From Smaht Scouting:

“Schaefer is built like a power forward and uses his size and strength to gain separation from defenders in the offensive zone. He was made for board battles and can keep the flow of the play moving if the puck gets trapped along the boards… Schaefer’s skating is above average for a player his size but not elite in any sense. He possesses the ability to get to top speed relatively quickly and his straight line speed is good enough to gain separation from defenders. I wouldn’t call him a quick skater, though. His top speed is fairly average, perhaps even below average, but he can cover more distance due to his size and leg strength.”

Is Schaefer a fit in Chicago?

The new Blackhawks’ front office has said they want to build a culture and are looking for speed, so how do we justify the idea that Schaefer (who grades as below average in skating and hockey sense) could be on their radar? He’s above average in compete and he’s a terrific shot. And he’s a big boy.

As Peters noted while the WHL playoffs were still going on, Schaefer ended his season very well and his stock was rising. He had six goals and 12 assists in 19 playoff games for Seattle when the dust settled.

Peters also wrote: “He’s big, skates well for his size and put up 32 goals in 66 games this season. He plays the game with strength but also has soft touch on the puck which has led him to rising up draft boards throughout the season.”

It’s hard to not love the idea of a prospect who is already 6-3 and 213 pounds as an 18-year-old. But that size may help him create opportunities in the WHL that won’t be as easily attainable in the NHL (cough, Kirby Dach, cough).

There’s a chance Schaefer isn’t available for the Blackhawks without a move up the board because of his strong postseason performance. But if the Hawks are looking to add size and offense, he could be a player in the mold of Taylor Raddysh, who they acquired from Tampa in the Brandon Hagel trade. Chicago would need to spend some time working with Schaefer to round out his game, but I like the compete and his offense is good.

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Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab