The game has changed and so has the players.
Entitlement and cockiness can be observed in many different facets of a players game in today’s era.
With the primary focus on individual skill within the game some players try to do too much and forget the value and importance of playing the team game.
You see there’s a massive difference between entitlement and confidence, a massive difference between the individual and the facilitator.
In today’s game some players lose sight of the big picture.
They lose sight of their place within the game and what they can bring to the team.
That couldn’t be farther from the truth for Truro’s Brayden Schmitt.
The silky smooth powerful skating offensive defenceman knows exactly what he can do and bring to a team.
It’s not cockiness, it’s confidence.
It’s clearly not entitlement, because Schmitt does all the little things it takes to win and goes above and beyond being a great teammate.
Brayden Schmitt knows his place within the game and is more than ready to leave his mark on it at the next level.
“This season has been crazy,” confessed Schmitt when asked about how nerve wracking his draft year was.
“Our team had so many things going good for us then all of a sudden it came to an end before we could finish what we started.”
The horrific COVID-19 pandemic derailed Schmitt’s and the Weeks Major Midget’s impressive season.
“I have just been working on everything really,” admitted Schmitt to trying to stay in shape.
“I’m outside taking shots, stick handling and working out.”
“I’m just trying to stay on top of everything.”
Schmitt is undeniably one of the top prospects from the Maritimes for the upcoming QMJHL Draft.
The ultra talented rearguard is currently ranked 20th overall by the QMJHL CSR.
There’s a high probability that Schmitt might in fact hear his name called during the 1st round.
Comparisons and projections play a vital role in the scouting world, but in some cases they are unfair.
In Schmitt’s case, Moncton Wildcats star defenceman Jordan Spence comes to mind almost instantly.
Schmitt’s puck skills, coupled with his amazing instincts in all three zones set him apart from other Maritime prospects and much like Spence, he’s a natural with the puck on his stick.
You could say his idol and role model growing up was a cut above or arguably the best player ever.
“As a as kid I definitely looked up to Bobby Orr.”
“Boston is my favourite NHL team and I would read about Bobby and watch old games of him playing. The way he could skate past everyone with ease and make the game look so easy was incredible,” Schmitt said.
When Schmitt rounds his own net with a burst of speed it is something to behold.
Nevertheless, the 16-year-old defenceman understands his role as a facilitator and creator of offensive.
Obviously, less is more when considering young offensive defenceman, but Schmitt understands when it’s time to push the pace or slow things down which is the true mark of brilliance.
What would it mean to get drafted and play in the QMJHL?
“It would be amazing.”
“All of these years of hard work finally paying off.”
“It would be truly incredible, it has been a dream I have been chasing my whole life,” said a reflective Schmitt.
Most offensively gifted players expect to be put in certain positions to succeed at the next level.
That sense of entitlement can be detrimental to any player’s development and performance.
Schmitt realizes he needs to work for everything at the next level, but is extremely confident in his abilities.
“I can see myself settling in to a team pretty well.”
“At first it might be a bit harder, but that’s like just like everything.”
“Once you get used to the speed of the game I think I will adapt pretty good and fit into a roster.”
“I don’t feel I need to improve big areas in my game, but I know that I will have to begin making decisions a bit faster with the pucks as everything will be faster,” Schmitt said confidently.
In 35 games this season Schmitt scored 6 goals and added 26 assists.
At 5’10 155 pounds Schmitt will also have to adjust to the physicality at the next level.
However, in Schmitt’s case the old adage may ring true, ‘you can’t hit what you can’t catch.’
Schmitt is an elite level skater who is extremely elusive and can create time and space in all three zones.
Nevertheless, the young skilled defender isn’t leaving anything to chance.
“I’m working on just all around strength and continuing to get stronger every day,” Schmitt said.
“I want to improve all of my skills more and more.”
“Brayden is an aggressive, smooth skating offensive style defenseman,” said one QMJHL scout.
“He is sound on his edges and his hockey IQ is off the charts.”
“Brayden is one of the smartest positional players in this years draft.”
“Brayden projects as a top pairing D-man when all the pieces come together.”
“He truly does it all, from sound 5-on-5 play to quarterbacking a powerplay,” the scout added.
Schmitt’s unwavering love and passion for the game is undeniable.
That love and passion for the game runs deep in the Schmitt household.
The dream to play in the QMJHL is shared amongst his family, making this season’s individual and team success extra special.
“My mom has sacrificed everything for me to get me where I am now.”
“When my dad passed away in 2015, my mom has done everything she can for me and my two siblings Brody, and Julia.”
Schmitt’s earliest recollections of learning to skate and play the game are still as vivid as ever making his journey in the game and life even more memorable.
“I can just remember being pushing around on a chair by my brother and sister.”
“I remember trying to skate around and falling down constantly.”
“Back then you could never imagine how it would feel to be where I am right now, it’s incredible,” confessed Schmitt.
Confidence is any athletes greatest ally or in some case their worst enemy.
Brayden Schmitt’s trust and belief in his ability will propel him to tremendous heights in the game.
Confident, yet grounded and driven perfectly describe Brayden Schmitt.
“I’m just going to continue to push myself, time and time again and continue to grow as a player.”
“With the help from all of my amazing coaches and trainers they are making it possible for me to achieve my dreams.”
Spoken like a player that is more than ready to leave his mark on the game and the QMJHL.