The 2009 first-round draft choice struggled with expectation and accountability but has looked like a different player. His stride is stronger, his commitment to play in traffic is better and the diminutive centre has caught the coach’s eye.
Schroeder has a chance to earn the third line center job with Ryan Kesler and Manny Malhotra both nursing injuries. Look for the second-year pro to make the decision increasingly hard for his coaches.
Playing his fourth game Sunday is significant and could determine whether the 2009 first-round pick stays this week. It’s been a long climb back into the good books for the diminutive centre who had just 10 goals with the Manitoba Moose last season in a tough transition to pro. He wasn’t among players recalled by the Canucks once the AHL team was eliminated from the postseason.
Schroeder could challenge for the second or third line center spot. The former 22nd overall pick scored 10 goals and 28 points through his first 61 games in the AHL. Look for him to challenge for a roster spot by the end of the season if the preseason is any indication.