~ Article courtesy Nick Nielsen, Westcentralonline.com, image courtesy Doug Klassen
When he first arrived after a trade from the Nipawin Hawks, Kindersley Jr Klippers forward Andrew Schaab was one of the most electric players for his team. After being held pointless in his first game as a Klipper, the 20-year-old forward went on a streak that saw him put up 3G-5A-8P in the next five games and he’s since been one of the most reliable forwards for the Klippers ever since.
Earlier this week, the Klippers announced that Schaab had made a commitment to play with the Alvernia University Golden Wolves in NCAA Division III hockey for the next season. His Head Coach with the Klippers Ken Plaquin praised both his effort on the ice and the initiative he showed in working towards finding a commitment for himself.
“Honestly, that was all him. He’s been working on that himself and I guided him just a tiny bit but he made all the decisions himself, did most of the communication, and he’s very deserving of getting that opportunity and we’re very happy for him, and like I’ve been saying since he got here, he’s been a huge addition for us and we just love having him on our team.”
The process started for Schaab back in November when he was still in Nipawin where he put up 12 points in 20 games to start the season, and his pace hasn’t sloed down since he’s come to Kindersley with 7G-12A-19P in his 36 games as a Klipper heading into tonight’s action against the Battlefords North Stars. Although he had a couple of choices for next year, Schaab says that Alvernia was the right choice for him.
“What attracted me there mostly was I think it was the academics. They have a really strong Kinesiology program there which is what I want to do, so that was a big factor and also a guy I played with my rookie year in Nipawin, Sawyer Senio (now playing with the Olds Grizzlies), said that he’s also committed to go there next year.”
Schaab has come a long way since his first year in the league in 2019-20 where he was a scratch a healthy scratch at times throughout this season, especially since he lost basically his entire 19 year old season because of the pandemic. Now that he’s gotten 102 games under his belt in Junior hockey, he can look back at his experience with pride knowing that the work he’s put in has gotten him to the next level.
“The three years really just kind of flew by you know. It goes by really fast and I think it’s prepared me pretty good because it’s a really fast league, lot of fast paced players, you have to think quickly and I think making the jump to junior was a tough adjustment for me but once I got adjusted to it, I think it helped my development in the future.”
A great support system around him has been a big part of why Schaab was successful in getting to the collegiate level, and he wanted to thank his parents, teammates, and of course his coaches for helping him get this far without that all important 19-year-old development year. For any young players who are looking to follow his path, he offered this piece of advice when faced with the frustrating moments of a season.
“Just don’t get discouraged. Your rookie year, you know you’re probably going to be in and out of the lineup a lot. It happens to most rookies and I think you just have to keep working and work as hard as you can to get yourself in the lineup as much as possible, but don’t be discouraged if it’s scratched every couple of games because it happens to everyone.”