The Oilers have signed Justin Schultz and we’re all excited. What kind of player is he?
Stand back, I don’t know how big this is going to get. There’s plenty of good news on Justin Schultz.
- Hockey News Draft Day Profile: Scouting Report: As a rookie in the BCHL, he tied for the team scoring lead among defensemen with 40 points in 57 games in 2007-08. He added eight points in 11 postseason contests… was named Defenseman of the Year in the BCHL’s Interior Conference last year… has committed to the University of Wisconsin, where he will play with fellow 2008 draft-eligible defenseman Jake Gardiner… will need to fill out his 6-1, 163-pound frame in order to maximize his pro potential… was rated 38th among North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings…
- Corey Pronman: Schultz is a player defined by his puck possession skills which are easily high-end. He is a player who one NHL executive described as having “outstanding hockey sense and poise with the puck.” Schultz can make special plays because of his high-end if not better vision and offensive instincts. If you want a defenseman who can control a power play, make great outlets, be creative with the puck, hit his passing targets through tight seams, and know when to join the rush, then Schultz is your guy.
- More Pronman: Schultz projects as a potential #2 defenseman in the NHL. While he should be able to log tough minutes, I don’t think he’ll be your best shutdown defenseman. He’ll be pretty good in that area, but he can be a team’s best power play guy. Keep in mind, though, that he only turns 22 in the summer and defensemen tend to have much more risk/variance on their projections than forwards when making that jump to the NHL. I love his talent level and I think he certainly can reach his projection, but due to his position I wouldn’t go say he’s a “sure thing” to do so, nor would I say he’ll peak in the next 1-2 years. The team that signs him could reasonably expect him to step onto their second pairing and be good on the power play from the get-go, which would be a great asset, with the ability to be even greater down the line.
- Thomas Drance: First of all, Schultz has serious pedigree. Gilroy and Brunnstrom were undrafted late-bloomers, whereas Justin Schultz was part of the ridiculously loaded 2008 defenseman draft class (along with Doughty, Pietrangello, Bogosian, Karlsson, Carlsson and Myers). The Wisconsin Badger was selected in the second round of that draft – two slots behind Canucks prospect Yann Sauve – and he’s been highly touted ever since. Secondly, when you look at the numbers, it’s pretty clear that Justin Schultz was the single best offensive defenseman not playing in the NHL this past season. He’s not the best blue-line prospect under the Sun (for my money, that presumptive title belongs to Bruins prospect Doug Hamilton), but at a minimum, Schultz looks like he’s ready to produce offense at the NHL level.
- Wisconsin web site: nation’s leading scorer on the blue line with 16 goals, 44 points and 1.19 points per game … was on the ice for 69 of Wisconsin’s 105 goals, 27 of UW’s 33 power-play goals and 10 of the squad’s 17 game-winning tallies
- Overall: 37, 16-28-44, 110 shots +11
- EV: 37, 9-17-26
- PP: 37, 7-11-18, 39 shots