Earning opportunities to improve his skills with the Fernie Ghostriders helped Matthew Schulmeister get a chance at the Junior A level with the Winnipeg Blues for the 2022-23 season in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Last season the Calgary, Alberta product had 10 points in 30 games for the Ghostriders in his lone season in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. He added six assists in four Teck Cup playoff games.
“Throughout the season I was constantly pushed and challenged to be better everyday,” said Schulmeister, who said his time in Fernie was amazing as he was welcomed by the coaching staff, players and community quickly. “From our system work in practice, to putting them to the test during games, I was always learning from the coaches and my teammates.”
Schulmeister moved up in the lineup or on special teams and progressed his skill and learned more about systems and the way the team wanted to play.
“Towards the middle of the season, I felt my skill level and speed really advanced and made a big difference in my game,” he said. “I was able to contribute more offence for the team and create more space and opportunities for myself. My speed is my biggest asset and I’m able to use it to my advantage a lot of times to separate myself from opponents and create space for my linemates.”
“It’s great to see Matthew get a shot in Junior A next season. He’s the ultimate team guy and will do whatever it takes to win,” said Ghostriders Head Coach and GM Ty Valin. “The team will miss him tremendously next season both on and off-the-ice. Mathew is a true pro and he was one of our leaders last season. Matthew had a tough year with injuries, but really showed what he can bring in the playoffs.”
Schulmeister was named the Ghostriders’ Playoff MVP and Most Inspirational Player.
“I’m extremely happy for him and wish him all the best,” said Valin.