How much offense should we expect from Justin Schultz in OKC? Does the past tell us much about the future when it comes to offense from the defense?
The short anwer is yes. And no. Most of the time when a defender turns pro he doesn’t get the cherry PP minutes, so the boxcars take a dive. In some rare cases, the defender’s abilities on offense are so strong (or the team need so overwhelming) said player gets the push.
Justin Schultz as a first year pro is a unique player. He has a solid resume in a very good league and the measuring sticks we know suggest some real offense. His NHLE is 82, 15-25-40 and my RE for him is 75, 7-19-26 for his NHL rookie season.
I think he could clear 40 points in a full AHL season. Bryan Helmer led all OKC defenders in PP points last season (69, 2-11-13) and Taylor Chorney had the best season at evens (50, 5-13-18). Justin Schultz should clear both numbers.