contributed Alyssa Cantisani
Rewind eight years and you would’ve seen forward Cole Schneider playing for the University of Connecticut and setting records that still stand today.
With 45 points (23g/22a) on the 2011-12 season, Schneider holds the schools Division I (1998-present) record for points in one season. In his two years, Schneider recorded more points at that time than any sophomore in UConn Division I history with 78 points (37g/41a). Schneider was an Atlantic Hockey all-rookie team selection in 2011 and first team selection in 2012.
Schneider came to UConn in 2010 and left after two seasons when he signed a two-way contract with the Ottawa Senators, starting his pro career in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Binghamton Senators.
During the 2016-17 season in Binghamton, Schneider was traded by the Senators to the Buffalo Sabres organization on February 27, 2016. The remainder of that season was spent with the Rochester Americans, where he put up a combined 56 points (21g/35a).
On April 8, 2016, Schneider recognized the dream of so many young hockey players when he was called up by the Buffalo Sabres for their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Schneider had the opportunity to take the ice at Buffalo's home rink, the KeyBank Center, only a short ride away from where he grew up giving him the chance to play in front of his friends and family.
Over the course of those two seasons, Schneider played six games with the Sabres, registering an assist. He played in 71 games with the Rochester Americans during the 2016-17 season, finishing sixth among AHL leading scorers with 63 points (24g/39a) and was named alternate captain.
Fast-forward to the 2017-18 season and Schneider is back in Connecticut. Schneider signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers and was assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack, playing in the very same rink as his alma mater.
This season, Schneider is third on his team in scoring with 31 points on 10 goals and 21 assists.
“I had two important years playing in Connecticut and it means a lot to me to be back and be able to see what’s going on with the program now,” said Schneider.
Schneider played under Coach Bruce Marshall while UConn was a member of Atlantic Hockey. Just three months after Schneider signed his contract, UConn announced the program would be joining Hockey East beginning with the 2014-15 season, an exciting piece of UConn hockey history that Schneider didn’t have the opportunity to experience.
“I wish I would’ve had a chance to be a part of it,” said Schneider, “Coach Cavanaugh has done a great job. I mean, you saw what he did at Boston College and the program here is really growing under him so hopefully it’ll continue to grow.”
Although Schneider left UConn in 2012, the Hockey East rivalries have followed him into the Wolf Pack locker room.
“There are a bunch of Hockey East guys in the locker room and there’s actually another Providence guy so when UConn played Providence a couple weeks ago we were definitely chirping back and forth a little bit,” said Schneider.
Four teams and two leagues later and the state of Connecticut with its love for the sport has found its way back into the life of Cole Schneider, giving him the perfect opportunity to stay on the UConn hockey program.
Schneider was the second player in program history to wear an NHL jersey, the first being Todd Krygier who was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the 1988 supplemental draft and played 543 games in the NHL for the Whalers, Washington Capitals and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The 1997-98 season was Krygier’s last playing professionally, leaving over 10 years before Schneider made his debut. Tage Thompson, a first round draft pick by the St. Louis Blues, was the third Husky to put on an NHL jersey. Thompson made his professional debut in 2017-18 and has played 24 games this season with 6 points (3g/3a).
On the current roster there are six Huskies who were NHL draft picks and 14 former players currently playing professionally somewhere in the world.
UConn’s program is taking the skill, talent and passion their athletes come here with and they are producing more professionals each year. With the program continuing in this direction, the future is looking exceptionally bright for UConn stars.
Watch out, the Huskies are coming.
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