March 14, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - UConn sophomore forward Cole Schneider has signed a professional two-way contract with the Ottawa Senators. Schneider will begin his career in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators.
"It's really hard to leave the guys on the team, but in the end I had to do what's best for me. Growing up, you dream of playing pro hockey and now I get to live that dream," said Schneider.
"The coaches really worked me hard this year. They got after me more and helped me improve what I needed to improve defensively. They helped me out with my all-around game really. The coaches were a huge part of this. Coming to UConn I never would have thought this was possible after two years, but they really helped me, probably more than they know," added Schneider.
Schneider will join Binghamton beginning next week. NHL two-way contracts determine a player's salary based on whether he plays with the NHL franchise or a team in the minors.
"Cole has worked hard to put himself in this position. He had a tremendous impact on our season and our success. We're excited for the next opportunity that's in front of him. We're looking forward to following his continued success down the road," said UConn head coach Bruce Marshall.
"We're trying to get into the upper echelon of the league on a yearly basis and being able to attract players that are enticing to the professional ranks is a way to help us make that step. We're hoping that players that we're interested in will see that there are professional opportunities after their time at the University of Connecticut," added Marshall.
Schneider leaves the college hockey ranks after setting the UConn Division I points and goal-scoring records this past year with 23 goals and 22 assists for 45 points. After two seasons, Schneider recorded more points (78) than any sophomore in UConn Division I history. Connecticut became a Division I program in 1998.
As a freshman, Schneider set the UConn Division I freshman records with 33 points and 20 assists and was named to the Atlantic Hockey Association All-Rookie Team.