Langley Rivermen defenceman Jordan Schneider battles for position with a member of the Coquitlam Express during preseason action at the Langley Events Centre last month. Schneider has been tabbed team captain for the Rivermen, who are off to a 3-2-0-0 start to the BCHL season.

Langley Rivermen defenceman Jordan Schneider battles for position with a member of the Coquitlam Express during preseason action at the Langley Events Centre last month. Schneider has been tabbed team captain for the Rivermen, who are off to a 3-2-0-0 start to the BCHL season.

Schneider grows into role

Langley Rivermen captain poised for big things in his final year of junior hockey

From an early age Jordan Schneider knew pro hockey was the goal.

His father, Matthieu Schneider, played in 1,289 NHL games with 10 different teams. So growing up, Jordan and his younger brother Christian saw the NHL life firsthand.

“When I was a kid, I always hung out at the rink, going to practices and stuff like that,” Schneider said.

“Just growing up around the atmosphere … you get to see the players that you idolize, you get to hang around them and see what it takes to be a pro and everything, that is definitely something that had a huge effect on me.”

Schneider was also that stereotypical Canadian, on skates before he was even walking.

But while his father had gone the major junior route, playing in the Ontario Hockey League with Cornwall, his son went to junior A, spending three years with the St. Michael’s Buzzers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

But the stellar reputation of the B.C. Hockey League drew Schneider west last season, with him joining the Langley Rivermen.

Schneider said he immediately noticed a difference between the two leagues.

“I thought (the BCHL) was a lot faster, the pace of play, and the biggest thing I noticed was the depth on every team,” he explained.

“A lot of teams have four good lines that can play every night whereas in the Ontario league it was more like the top two lines were good and it was kind of watered down after that.”

The move west was by design, given the league’s reputation for sending players to NCAA programs.

“You look at the website and you see all the commitments from this league (and) that was one of my big things, getting an NCAA commitment,” he said.

The 20-year-old — who is in his final year of junior — has already done so, securing a scholarship to Clarkson University for next year.

“That was my goal last year, to know my future.

“It is definitely a monkey off my back,” he said.

“Coming into this year, it could have been a lot of pressure. But now there is only one thought in my mind and that is to win. I can just go to the rink every day and focus on winning.”

And he is ready for a bigger role this year in Langley, especially after being tabbed captain.

“I came in and I knew that was a role I wanted on this team,” he explained, adding that while he is a lead-by-example kind of guy, he is working on being more vocal.

“Do everything the right way and keep a positive attitude.”

Like his father, Schneider is a defenceman.

But while the elder Schneider was more of an offensive, puck-moving d-man, Schneider is a two-way defenceman whose first concern is his own end.

“I think defence first,” said the six-foot-five, 212-pounder. “I think my biggest strength is in my own end. I try to play physical and have a chippy style.

“Nothing too fancy, just keep things simple and play hard.”

In his first BCHL season, Schneider had five goals and 26 points in 52 games. So far this season, he has four assists through the first five games.

“He works his butt off to get everything that he gets,” said Rivermen head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson.

“From a hockey perspective, he was a late bloomer. Physically, he is just really starting to fill out his body.

“He is getting confident in his body and throws his weight around.”

And while Schneider said he is looking forward to getting back in the classroom and earning his degree, the goal remains hockey.

“I want to play in the NHL,” he said.

“That’s my goal and I won’t settle for anything else.”