The Nashville Predators have recently acquired a promising left-winger prospect in Reid Schaefer, who was drafted 32nd overall in the 2022 NHL draft. Schaefer is an impressive 6’3″ and weighs 215 lb, fitting the Predators’ mold of big wingers. At just 19 years old, with a birthday in September, he has a lot of time to develop and improve his game.
Schaefer has already proven himself to be a formidable player in the Western Hockey League (WHL), with 23 goals and 24 assists in 44 games, earning a plus-minus rating of plus 21. He is expected to become a 30-goal scorer with 29 assists this season, demonstrating his ability to both score and assist.
Leading up to the draft, Schaefer was one of the fastest risers in the rankings, jumping an impressive 54 spots from 85th to 31st according to NHL Central Scouting. As a draft prospect, Schaefer was ranked by Elite Prospects at #102, FCHockey at #55, TSN/Craig Button at #20, McKeen’s Hockey at #64, TSN/McKenzie at #37, and NHL Central Scouting at #31.
Schaefer’s draft profile highlights his potential as “the next good power forward in the league” but acknowledges that he has room to grow and develop. As a raw player, his impact will depend on the team he lands with and his development, but his size, physicality, and scoring touch make him an exciting prospect to watch.
Experts have described Schaefer as a power forward who plays a tough, physical game, but can also score and make plays. He is known for protecting the puck well, being strong along the boards and in front of the net, and possessing offensive capabilities. According to Corey Pronman of The Athletic, Schaefer’s NHL appeal lies in his excellent puck skills, scoring touch, and ability to create offense around the net. While he may currently be seen as a bottom-six forward with upside, he has the potential to become a valuable player in special teams situations.
Overall, the Nashville Predators have acquired an impressive young prospect in Reid Schaefer, who has demonstrated his ability to be a physical and effective player on the ice. With time and development, he has the potential to become an important part of the team and make a significant impact in the league.