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.



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  1. delooper says:

    Unless he gets a shoulder injury on his first night. Arguably a reasonable expectation.

  2. rich says:

    Really depends on how Todd Nelson deploys him. Seems that new players go thru some kind of apprenticeship where they’re not given the cherry minutes (at least as it relates to forwards).

    Perhaps it will be different with Schultz, but that remains to be seen.

  3. Kris11 says:

    Interesting question, LT.

    If his NHLE is 40 points, it seems strange to make his AHL RE 40 points. Moreover, the kid isn’t 19. And he has played against men. And the scouting reports imply that his counting numbers aren’t inflated, but rather reflect real ability. (And as good a team as OKC is, I can’t see a defenseman who will get more PP time.)

    I’d say a good AHL RE is 45 points, over the full season. With bad luck (low SH%, maybe a little less PP time) he only gets 35. With good luck, he could hit 55, which is crazy good, IMO.

  4. jp says:

    I think I’d be fairly dissapointed with a full AHL season and only about 40 pts for Schultz. As mentioned, opportunity is a huge factor in carrying (or most often not carrying) offense up a league. For sure he would have competition for PP time in the NHL, but the road looks completely clear for him on the Barons. There simply aren’t any other offensive defensemen in OKC to challenge him or potentially take his spot. On top of that, Nelson has also already stated that he sees J. Schultz on the PP1 with Nuge. It would take a pretty huge collapse for Schultz not to play in all offensive situations for OKC. I’d put the over/under at 50 pts (barring injury/NHL resuming). Equally likely he hits 60 as 40.

    Just 1 example, but Petry scored at about a 45 pts pace in his first year out of college, and he had nowhere close to the same numbers as Schultz when in college (38-4-25-29 for Petry vs 38-16-28-44 for Schultz).

  5. voxwah says:

    Wow, all day and we have 4 comments. NHL and NHLPA you guys all suck!

  6. voxwah says:

    P.S. I think Shultz will get a big push and will top 45 pts in OKC for sure.

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