– Roman Schmidt –
Don Mills Flyers (GTHL) | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible
Right Defence | Ontario | 2003
Roman Schmidt is a towering, two-way defenceman who imposes his skill and strength in all three zones. After playing up with the ’02 group in ’17-18 as a member of the Mississauga Rebels, Schmidt transferred to the Don Mills Flyers in hopes of making a run for the GTHL Championship and OHL Cup. He was arguably the top defenceman at the Titans Early Bird Tournament, leading his position with six goals and 10 points in eight games. Schmidt is committed to Boston University for the 2020-21 season, making his OHL Draft status foggy.
Related: Check out the Top 20 Performers of the Toronto Titans Early Bird Tournament
Schmidt is nearly impossible to play against, as he combines his smooth skating with incredible strength to maintain tight gaps and wipe out opponents along the wall with ease. He plays an elite transition game, with multiple tools to move the play to the offensive zone, including slick tape-to-tape passes, calm chips off the wall, or rushing the puck through the neutral zone himself.
- Hockey Sense
- Size and Strength
Schmidt’s skating ability is night and day from last season. He now displays tremendous lower-body strength and balance to protect the puck or to lay the boom on hopeless opponents. Schmidt also looks incredibly more agile than a year ago, turning on a dime or showing impressive acceleration with stop-and-starts. Further, Schmidt possesses an incredible shot from the point, with both power and accuracy, he finds shooting lanes through traffic with ease.
Related: Check out our 2019 OHL Draft Ranking: October Top-20
Schmidt is a man amongst boys on the ice, and uses his strength to eliminate opposing offensive rushes as well as to hulk his way up the ice for an easy carry-in. However, his hockey sense is also promising, as Schmidt shows innate abilities to read opponent tactics and to shut down any offensive opportunities. He shows intelligence with his stick as well, either through smart positioning or aggressive poke checks to eliminate potential scoring chances.
Area of Improvement:
- Decision Making
Despite showcasing an elite all-around game, Schmidt has a small tendency to second-guess his decisions, namely with pinching at the offensive blueline. He can be seen visibly calculating the risk and reward of trying to hold the zone with a loose puck or on a chip off the boards, but sometimes catches himself flat-footed as a result of changing his decision in the process of pinching.
[ROSTER SERIES 7/16] #27 Roman Schmidt (D, shoots: R) a first year Flyer after making an impact with the ‘02 age group last year all the way to the OHL Cup. He towers over the blueline, prevents zone entries, and gets pucks to the net through traffic from all angles. pic.twitter.com/usTiloex2k
— Don Mills Flyers ’03 (@03DMF) September 20, 2018
Although it is a small aspect of his game, it is one that Schmidt could certainly improve on in order to solidify his reputation as a reliable, 200-foot defenceman. Keep in mind that he rarely gets caught and allows odd-man rushes as a result of his decision-making, simply being caught in a so-called no man’s land.
Roman Schmidt currently projects as a potential top-pairing defenceman at the OHL level, with an intriguing offensive upside as well. He can play in all situations and has the strength, maturity, and skating ability to jump straight into the OHL for the ’19-20 season.
Again, his NCAA commitment may affect his final OHL Draft position, but at this time, Schmidt should be considered a consensus top-10 pick for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.