By Adam Jackson, Waterloo Chronicle
Nate Schnarr was disappointed to say the least.
It was September 2015 and the then-16-year-old was cut late into fall camp by the Guelph Storm as he hoped to break the team at the youngest possible age. The third-round pick was devastated, but he knew that all he had to do was work.
The Storm general manager, Mike Kelly, was sure to tell Schnarr that just because he didn’t make the team doesn’t mean he won’t have a rewarding junior hockey career.
“Even before we drafted Nate, we were aware that he had an opportunity to play in Waterloo,” said Kelly, adding that he knows the Siskins organization is capable of providing an opportunity for development.
“We knew that if we didn’t think he was going to be ready for major junior, he was going to have a really good opportunity,” said Kelly. “He was probably as qualified to stay with the Storm last year as a couple of kids we kept, but because his option was so good, it was an easy decision for us to make.”
Schnarr was upset at the time and understandably so.
“As a hockey player, you always want to play at the highest level possible,” said the graduate of the Waterloo Wolves minor hockey program. “I had a really good camp going in there at the end of the summer … but (Kelly) instantly said ‘don’t take this personally.’”
For Kelly and the Storm, it was less about what Schnarr was capable of right now and more about the future.
“It may have been tough for him to hear that particular day, but I tried to say to him, ‘Hey, we believe in you and we think you’re going to be a significant member of the Guelph Storm when we’re a championship calibre team again and this is a development opportunity,’” said Kelly.
And develop, he did.
Click here to continue reading the article.