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Rookie ‘Shoots’ contributes on offence for Chiefs – best today news

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With a last name often mispronounced, Yellowhead Chiefs rookie winger Quinn Schutte does not mind the moniker given to him by teammates.

“I’m called Shooty or Shoots by the guys, but I don’t mind,” he said of teammates giving each other nicknames during the course of a hockey season.

“Shoots” is an appropriate nickname for the Brandon-born transplant to Shoal Lake to play for the Chiefs in the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League. He was in the final cuts with the now first-place Brandon Wheat Kings during last fall’s tryouts.

In 29 Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League games with the Yellowhead Chiefs, rooke winger Quinn Schutte is fourth in team scoring with 11 goals and 26 points. (Jules Xavier/The Brandon Sun)

Schutte takes plenty of shots on opposing goalies when he’s in the offensive end. The five-foot-11 winger is currently in fourth-place in team scoring with 11 goals, 15 assists in 29 games.

“It was disappointing being in the last cut with that team,” he said, “because I’ve been playing with a lot of those guys since we were all starting out in minor hockey in Brandon.

“After being cut, the plan was to have me go back and play with the U17 Wheat Kings, but then I reached out to Yellowhead to see if there were any openings, but was told no. Afterwards, I received a phone call to say they were short players, so was invited to play.”

Schutte is no longer disappointed about the cut. Instead, he’s enjoying playing with guys he does not attend school with at Neelin. Plus, he has a familiar face he car pools with to Shoal Lake with in rookie goaltender Kieran Madill, another Brandonite who attends Vincent Massey.

“All these new guys for me (and Kieran) have made us feel welcome on the team, and there’s a lots of skill on this team, so I’ve been able to put up the points I have,” Schutte said.

“I was initially nervous at the start of the season, but the players, coaches and community are very welcoming to us playing for their team.”

Having a familiar face has been beneficial for both players, according to Schutte, when it comes playing in an unfamiliar arena.

“Our friendship has grown since the move because we’ve known each other for a long time, playing hockey and baseball, but now we’re in a different setting. We can car pool, usually with his dad, do I can nap on the way to a game on the drive, to after the game,” he said.

Yellowhead Chiefs rookie winger Quinn Schutte battles for the puck on the wall in Shoal Lake with Southwest Cougars' top scorer Jack Clark (15).

Yellowhead Chiefs rookie winger Quinn Schutte battles for the puck on the wall in Shoal Lake with Southwest Cougars’ top scorer Jack Clark (15).

“Having great teammates helps because I’ve had to adapt being in Shoal Lake to play because there’s a different culture in the Chiefs’ organization compared to what I was used to in Brandon.

“First, I had to get used to the cold … being a Brandon kid I’m not used to playing in a cold arena. And the ice made by Dan (the Zamboni driver) is the best I’ve ever played on when it comes to our home games.”

A playmaker by nature when it comes to skating on the wing, Schutte has also contributed on offence thanks to working hard against opposing blue-liners on the forecheck. He also takes pride in his special teams play — two of his 11 goals came on the power-play, while two were scored shorthanded.

Just finishing a Grade 12 physics exam before talking to the Sun, Schutte said having good chemistry with his second line partners Addison McIntosh and Alec Strachan has equated to his being high on the roster’s scoring race as a rookie.

“As a playmaker, my success has a lot to do with who I am playing with. Sure, I get the stats, but Addison and Alex make it easy for me to have success on this team,” Schutte said.

With the Chiefs (11-18-2) tied for 10th in the league standings with the Parkland Rangers — they gained a point in an overtime loss to this team on Tuesday night — Schutte said every game is a playoff battle of late.

“We want to make the playoffs, so have to reach the top-eight. It’s not going to be easy, but we’ve been playing well of late since we beat the Cougars. We had won three games in a row until the overtime loss.”

Schutte first started skating at age two, then was signed up for the Brandon minor hockey program two years later, playing Timbits. While he was cut from the atom AA travel team, instead playing with the A team, once he moved up in the system to peewee he played on the minor and major AA teams.

Yellowhead Chiefs winger Quinn Schutte (23) battles for position facing Southwest Cougars defenceman Jackson Kohut (2). (Jules Xavier/The Brandon Sun)

Yellowhead Chiefs winger Quinn Schutte (23) battles for position facing Southwest Cougars defenceman Jackson Kohut (2). (Jules Xavier/The Brandon Sun)

After one year of bantam AA, he finally made the AAA bantam Wheat Kings. Off to a good start with that team, then the COVID pandemic hit and he lost his season before moving up to the new U17 Wheat Kings team.

The Schutte family is torn on weekends when it comes to watching their son in action with the Chiefs out of Shoal Lake, or sitting in the stands in Hartney to watch daughter Reese play on the Westman Wildcats of the U18 AAA Manitoba Female Hockey League.

“It’s busy for our parents for sure, but if I get a chance I like to watch my sister play, or she comes to watch me,” he said.

The two siblings can be found training at Westoba arena with former Wheat King Ty Lewis every Tuesday at 7 a.m.

“It’s great to get extra training from Ty for the two of us, now playing U18,” he said. “You can learn a lot from his when it comes to him teaching us how to play with the puck or play without it.

“He’s a great teacher … that morning training session sees us working on our shooting, skating and puck handling.”

If there’s a weakness in Schutte’s game he admits it’s his defensive end play, which he works hard in practice on and tries to follow the systems put in place by head coach Chad Taylor and assistants Craig Geekie and Aiden Woodley.

Brandon-born winger Quinn Schutte is enjoying his rookie season with the Yellowhead Chiefs playing in the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League.

Brandon-born winger Quinn Schutte is enjoying his rookie season with the Yellowhead Chiefs playing in the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League.

“Plus my skating and edge work needs work. Everyone, especially me, can always improve their skating,” he said.

While he admits he does not have a hard shot when challenging goalies, he does fire the puck accurately when it comes to picking the corners. Schutte likes to battle opponents for the puck, especially on the wall or in the corners.

“I’d say one of my strengths is my playmaking, winning battles in the corners and protecting the puck when I have it.”

With the regular season winding down and the post-season just around the corner, Schutte is optimistic the Chiefs have the talent and desire to move up in the standings to gain a top-eight placing. Which would mean playing the Wheat Kings in the opening round.

“I believe we can make it the way the coaches have us playing right now,” he explained. “When we work hard and put in the effort, there’s a good chance we can make the top-eight.

“We’ve had a lot of success lately winning games against teams above us. All of our games now have a playoff atmosphere for us, which gets us up for those games like the other night against the Cougars.”

What about a first-round battle with the Wheat Kings?

“They have a lot of chemistry on that team, play hard and play fast,” he said. “There’s a reason for that because they’ve all played together as a home-grown team since their early minor hockey days. They go to school together, and on the ice, they know where each other is going to be.”

Born in Brandon, Quinn Schutte is playing his U18 season with the AAA Yellowhead Chiefs after being in the final cut with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Now he's having fun playing with players from communities around Shoal Lake. (Jules Xavier/The Brandon Sun)

Born in Brandon, Quinn Schutte is playing his U18 season with the AAA Yellowhead Chiefs after being in the final cut with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Now he’s having fun playing with players from communities around Shoal Lake. (Jules Xavier/The Brandon Sun)

Schutte also knows teams in the post-season all have a clean slate, the regular season means nothing. A hot goaltender can steal games, especially with defences tightening up and games lower scoring.

“You never know what will happen in the playoffs. It would be great to win especially if you are on the team that knocks off the Wheat Kings. I know Kieran and I enjoy when we play them because of our familiarity. There’s a lot of friendly banter among us.”

» jxavier@brandonsun.com

» X: @julesxavier59





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