Justin Schultz had an amazing pro debut in Oklahoma City, and moved smoothly into the NHL (10, 3-3-6 +1) before drowning in the wreck of the Edmund FitzKreuger. Can he recover?
RE 13-14: 80, 13-28-41
- Your projections seem low. Hey, he’s killed it in the last three seasons (two in college and this past season AHL-NHL) but with a new coach I think it’s best to be careful in projecting big numbers. We’re not absolutely certain how everyone will be used, although I’ve certainly kept the PP numbers in his overall boxcars.
- Yeah, but he’s a 50-point guy based on this past season. On a losing team (and he would have scored 46 in 82 games). We don’t know what the new coach will do, and we shouldn’t assume he’ll play 17 and a half minutes a night at even strength. Some of those minutes may go elsewhere, although I do think he’ll match his 3 minutes PP of a year ago.
- How was he at the WHC’s? 8, 0-4-4 +1 he played well from all reports.
- He had some impressive numbers in some areas. Offensively, Schultz ranked in a tie for 12th among defensemen in points, tied for 8th among blue in goals, tied for 7th in powerplay points among defenseman and he played 21:26 a night. As a rookie!
- So? This is an outstanding talent (age 22) who should have a long and productive career. His puck handling ability is all world, his offensive creativity is off the map. He is a sublime talent, who can create with the top end forwards on this team. Music!
- That minus 17 was ugly. In his first 19 games in the NHL, Schultz was 5-7-12, -4. In his final 29, he was 3-12-15 -13. I think chaos entered his game in a big way when he began to flag. I have no idea why the Oilers didn’t sit him for a few games.
- What would a good team have done with Schultz? Well, that 21:26 a night is quite a bit for a rookie, and when he began struggling there’s no doubt in my mind a team that had options would have allowed him to see the game from the gondola. And while I’m at it Nick “dog whistle” Schultz responding to loud noises by going jailbreak into the offensive end was no help. At all.
- Is that why MacT added 82 defensemen? Partly, I also think he remembers the teams he coached here and knows well that an NHL team will likely use the 10th D on their depth chart, certainly far more often than a depth winger or a #3 goaltender. I also think Eakins is used to working with a lot of defensive options, and that MacT probably decided that a lack of a Pronger-Chara could best be addressed with better depth. This is as deep an Oiler depth chart I’ve seen in 20 years–that’s not to be mistaken for quality, but they go basically 2 teams deep right now (12 d) who could play in a pinch.
- Name them. Smid-Petry, Ference-JSchultz, NSchultz-Potter, Grebeshkov-Belov, Klefbom-Larsen, Marincin-Fedun.
- Are you going to do a ‘training camp hopeful’ for the defense? Yes.
- Why? Rom.
- Jerk. Yeah, I know.
- How did he do defensively last season? The Vollman Player Chart is below.
- That’s not a red color bubble, is it? Well, it’s pink. Ralph Krueger trusted two guys a lot, two other guys some, and then may have shut his eyes when the other three were on the ice. The good news is Schultz was in the second pairing, and his Corsi Rel was close to even par. It’s a pink bubble, slightly negative but if the Oilers had given him a rest in there I bet he would have been in the blue (and remember this is Corsl Rel, they’re all a long way from even par as a group).
- Schultz should have been able to push the puck in a better direction, right? Rookie defensemen on bad teams with no options aren’t going to be in the blue bubble, it just doesn’t happen. All things considered, and despite enormous anecdotal evidence of bad decisions during his poor streak, I think there’s a lot of evidence that he can in fact play defense. I don’t think it’ll ever get mentioned because of his offensive prowess, but that’s not why he’s in the NHL. Schultz with a reliable veteran should be a good second pairing option as early as this season.
- Who would be the idea partner for him? Someone like Chara would be ideal.
- Be reasonable. Anyone? I suspect they’ll try Ference there, but I also wonder if there’s a chance Laddy Smid ends up being the partner for young Schultz. Other candidates might include the Russian Grebeshkov.
- Why this song? He kind of came from outer space in that we didn’t spend four years wondering about him as a prospect. Also, if he scores 50 points he will in fact blow our minds.
- Who was the last Oilers blue to post a 50 point season? Souray, 2008-09. And before that Chris Pronger in 2005-06.
- Based on this season, how good could Schultz be? He could be a cornerstone for this franchise for a decade on defense. An absolute piss cutter. I think the chaos at the end of the season has clouded the enthusiasm, but he’s a brilliant player surrounded by young men of similar quality. Justin Schultz was a gift, we’re just going to have to get used to the blessing and just how much he’s going to impact the future.
- Is he going to be expensive? God yes. Very expensive when they start buying free agent seasons.
- They’ll eventually have to trade one of these impact kids, you know. Yes. Agreed.
- Who will it be? I can’t see the Oilers dealing any of Hall, Eberle or Nuge. So that leaves Schultz the younger and the Russian.
- Horrible to think either will get sent away. It’ll be a tough day, MacT will have to make sure he gets max return.
- Is there a way around it? Using Hall as the outer marker, if MacT can get Nuge and Schultz done with a reasonable number then maybe they can add Yak City and have it come in at $27M or so for the five. That would be well less than half of the overall cap. They still have to pay Petry, sign Dubnyk and one would imagine they’ll be after a free agent defenseman again next summer.
EDMONTON OILERS ROOKIE SCORING, DEFENSEMAN
- Tom Gilbert (07-08) 82gp, 13-20-33
- Paul Coffey (80-81) 74gp, 9-23-32
- Randy Gregg (82-83) 80gp, 6-22-28
- Justin Schultz (12-13) 48gp, 8-19-27
- Marc-Andre Bergeron (03-04) 54gp, 9-17-26
- Steve Smith (85-86) 55gp, 4-20-24
- Dan McGillis (96-97) 73gp, 6-16-22
- Kevin Lowe (79-80) 64gp, 2-19-21
- Tom Poti (98-99) 73gp, 5-16-21
JUSTIN SCHULTZ VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER 2012-13