Braden Schneider launches Boqvist into orbit with huge open ice hit, fights Sharangovich

Published April 5, 2022 at 8:29 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
Braden Schneider, a 20-year-old right-shot defenseman who cut his teeth in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings, is an absolute Mack truck. At the time of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Schneider was favoured among scouts to wind up being selected with the 15th overall pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the Leafs instead selected the top-ranked European skater on the board in 18-year-old Rodion Amirov.

Obviously, with Amirov currently battling a brain tumor, our thoughts and prayers are with him. By all accounts, he appears to be handling things better than anyone could have expected. He remains upbeat and active in the gym and on the ice in Germany as he undergoes treatment there.

Amirov is a very good prospect, make no mistake about it. The goal here is for the now 20-year-old to keep fighting the good fight and to beat cancer and then, hopefully, he can make his way over to North America to continue his development under the close supervision of the Leafs' development staff.

Schneider has had a much quicker path to the NHL, playing his rookie season this year after being drafted 19th overall by the Rangers in 2020. Through 31 games ahead of tonight's matchup in New Jersey, Schneider has registered just 2 goals and 8 points, but racking up points is not exactly what he's known for.


During the first period of Tuesday's game against the Devils, Schneider lined up winger Jesper Boqvist and absolutely rocks him in the neutral zone. While the hit was clean, Yegor Sharangovich took exception to the hit on Boqvist and went right after Schneider and got fed a beating for his troubles.


An alternate angle of the hit shows Schneider absolutely launching Boqvist into orbit. This HAS to be a hit of the year candidate. You don't see too many clean, hard hits like that in open ice.


Obviously, there's no guarantee that Schneider would even be playing with the Leafs right now if he was drafted by the Buds at 15th overall in 2020. But seeing plays like this will have a lot of Leafs fans wondering "what if?".

In the meantime, we're all hoping and praying that Amirov can work his way through treatment and return to 100%. 20 years old is too young to be going through what he's currently going through.
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