A Few Minutes With New Jersey Devils Netminder Cory Schneider

Editor's Note: Throughout the 2014-15 NHL season, USA Hockey Magazine will periodically highlight American-born players through various Q&A segments. The inaugural discussion was with Cory Schneider.

A former member of the U.S. National Team Development Program (2003-04), Schneider is currently a netminder with the New Jersey Devils. After three years at Boston College (2004-07), the Marblehead, Mass., native transitioned to the American Hockey League and played with the Manitoba Moose for two years before suiting up for the Vancouver Canucks for eight games in 2008-09. Schneider has played in 143 regular season games, compiling a 2.12 GAA and a .925 save percentage.


QUICK HITTERS

Favorite Music: Jay Z, Green Day
Favorite Movie: Good Will Hunting
Favorite Book: Jobs (Steve Jobs Biography)
Favorite Quote: "You're only as good as your last game."
Favorite Television Show: The Wire
Favorite Place To Visit: Balboa Island, CA. My grandparents lived there, or Hawaii.
Hockey Role Model(s) Growing Up: Mike Richter and Ray Bourque
One offseason hobby I enjoy participating in during the summer months: Golfing
If I wasn’t playing hockey now, I would be: in business school

1) When did you first start playing organized hockey in Massachusetts? How were you introduced to the sport?

I first started playing youth hockey in my hometown of Marblehead, Mass. when I was about 6 years old. My older brother, Geoff, began playing because of a friend, and I wanted to be like my older brother so I put the pads on. He needed someone to shoot on.   

2) Besides hockey, what sports during did you participate in recreationally when you were in grade school/middle school?

I loved playing all kinds of sports as a kid, but besides hockey, the other sports I played competitively were soccer and baseball. I actually played baseball all the way through high school.

3) When did you finally realize you wanted to commit to hockey full time?

I had always played hockey in the summers, but when I got to high school and decided to play fall hockey and train rather than play soccer, I knew I wanted to commit more of my time and energy to hockey. It was my choice and a gradual decision, but I was very sure of it when I did.   

4) During your senior year of high school, you played for Phillips Academy along with both the U.S. National Team Development Program U-17 and U-18 Teams. As still a teenager, how was that experience bouncing around from team to team and gaining those different experiences? 

I owe a lot of where I have gotten to my experiences playing for USA Hockey on the U-17 and U-18 teams. High school hockey was challenging, but to go up against the best players in the world forced me to elevate my game and truly showed that I belonged at the next level. Without pushing myself and competing against the best, I don’t know if I ever would have found out what my potential was.   

5) What made attending Boston College a more attractive option versus an alternative route? What was your favorite part(s) of college hockey?

Being from Boston, the first appealing thing about BC was its location close to home. Beyond that, they provide a blend of academics and elite college hockey that, in my eyes, was matched by only a few other schools in the country. I had an opportunity to play close to home, get a great education and challenge for national titles every season, so it actually became an easy decision. My favorite part of college hockey was the people I met and worked with. Coach York, his staff and the entire support staff allowed me to be at my best. I stay in touch with all of them to this day. My classmates and teammates are some of my best friends to this day. The hockey aspect was incredible, but I have found that it’s the people you are with who make the experience.   

6) Growing up, were there any two or three goalies you consistently watched to get tidbits from to incorporate into your game? What did you like about their style of play? As a follow-up, how would you describe your current style of play in net?

When I was younger, I always loved watching Mike Richter because he was the best American goalie at the time. Oddly enough, as I got older I really enjoyed watching Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur. I have been fortunate enough to have played with both of them in my career, which is something I believe I will tell my grandkids about one day. Roberto was a younger, more technical goalie while Marty had so much success while I was growing up while adding a flare for the dramatics. I think because they were so different I enjoyed watching both. I would say my style more close mirrors Roberto's style; more compact and controlled. However, in my year with Marty, I have begun trying to implement some aspects of his game because he anticipates the play and sees the ice so well.   

7) How much of your offseason training is spent on the ice versus off the ice? What types of off-ice training do you do in the summer months?

I would say a majority of my offseason is spent off the ice. These days, I usually don’t even touch the ice before August. Getting your body strong and in peak physical shape to get through an 82 game schedule is so important, especially as you get older. Training camps are several weeks and you spend so much time on the ice during the year, I have found I need less time to get back to where I want to be.  

8) What is the coolest perk about playing in the NHL?

The coolest perk about playing in the NHL has to be the fact that people and kids look up to you and are genuinely excited to meet you. I never thought in a million years (and sometimes still don’t believe it) that I would ever be able to give kids excitement and energy about the game. It truly is a privilege to play in the NHL and as I get older, I realize how fortunate I am to go to work with the best people in their profession every single day.   

9) At some point, there will be a life after hockey for every professional — any thoughts as to what you’d like to do 10-15 years down the road? Coach? Broadcast booth? Business? 

Fortunately, I haven't had to think about this just yet, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared. I graduated from BC with a finance degree; I'd like to think I would be able to do something in the business world. Perhaps something relating to business in the front office of an NHL team? Coaching is much harder than people realize, so while I think I would have something to offer, it is easier said than done!  


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