To understand brainiac Cory Schneider better, look at the man he idolized growing up: Mike Richter. On top of being a college star, Richter was one of the more cerebral goalies of his era, and Schneider, who wears No. 35 as an homage to Richter, followed a similar path.
Schneider dominated the NCAA stopping pucks for Boston College. When he wasn’t piling up shutouts, he was busy earning a degree in finance and was a mainstay on the NCAA all-Academic team. He was studious, and when he did first break into the NHL, he had a lot of time to think – as he was stuck behind star No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo on the Vancouver Canucks.
Schneider excelled backing up Luongo and pushed him hard enough to create a crease controversy with Canuck fans but never could steal the job, despite posting a .927 save percentage across five seasons.
The New Jersey Devils acquired Schneider in a 2013 trade, and he had to share the net with another legend: Martin Brodeur. Schneider finally became a starter by 2014-15 and emerged as one of the NHL’s best for several seasons. By Schneider’s 30th birthday in 2016, he held the NHL’s highest all-time save percentage among qualified leaders at .925, though he’s since slipped to fifth place at .920.
Schneider is one of the better goalies of his generation, but he’s made an impact with his mind as well as with his body. He’s been an active member of the league’s competition committee, speaking out in favor of shrinking goalie equipment to increase scoring and level the playing field between netminders. He wants to weed out anyone gaining an unfair advantage with oversized padding.
Born: March 18, 1986, Marblehead, Mass.
NHL Career: 2008-present
Teams: Van, NJ
Stats: 161-140-52, 2.36 GAA, .920 SP, 24 SO
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Schneider is also a Swiss citizen on his father’s side, and he’s spoken about finishing his career in the Swiss League. He played there with Ambri-Piotta during the 2012-13 lockout and didn’t count as an “import.”