Schuldhaus thrilled to be a Warrior

(Marc Smith/  The Moose Jaw Warriors continued to add pieces to its puzzle with a trade on Friday that saw the team acquire six-foot-four defenceman Brandon Schuldhaus.

The 19-year-old is joining his third team in the past two seasons, but he’s excited about the opportunity in front of him by joining the top team in the Western Hockey League.

“(This trade) was really good news for me, obviously there’s a pretty good team here in Moose Jaw, so that was pretty cool to find out (about the trade),” said Schuldhaus before making his debut on Saturday in Edmonton.

“To come to a winning club, a winning organization like this and be a part of that, that’s something to look forward to and I just want to come here and contribute what I can.”

In 37 games this season with Red Deer before the trade, Schuldhaus registered 12 assists and 29 penalty minutes. He was a minus-six coming to Moose Jaw, but was able to cut that in half during his first game with the Warriors, finishing a plus-three in the 7-2 win over the Oil Kings on Saturday.

The Warriors liked what they saw out of Schuldhaus in his debut.

“I was impressed with him,” said Warriors assistant coach Scott King. “He does things hard, he shoots the puck hard, he passes the puck hard and he does a lot of things real hard, and he’s a big, thick guy, he’s a strong guy, so he’s going to help us back there.”

Schuldhaus started his WHL career in Seattle before being dealt to Red Deer at the deadline last year. In 162 career games in the WHL, he has four goals and 32 points to go along with 117 penalty minutes.

Schuldhaus views himself as a defensive defenceman, which is what the Warriors were looking for when they acquired him.

“I like to take care of my own end first, play a big strong game and contribute offensively when I get chances,” he said.

“I try to be a hard guy to play against, be hard on other team’s top players and that’s something I take pride in from my game.”

Schuldhaus will join a Warriors’ defensive group that includes puck-movers like Josh Brook and Jett Woo in the top-four, as well as Dmitri Zaitsev and Chase Hartje. The new addition will be asked to fill a shutdown role and will take some of the pressure off fellow two-way defenceman Oleg Sosunov.

“There’s a lot of good players here and I’m excited to come in be a part of that and not necessarily have the spotlight on me, but contribute where I can and play the role that I was brought in to play,” said Schuldhaus.

Schuldhaus will make his home debut when the Warriors bring their six-game winning streak back to Mosaic Place to host the Calgary Hitmen on Wednesday.

Wednesday is also the WHL Trade Deadline as it arrives at 4 p.m. Saskatchewan time that day.

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