NHL: Oilers Prospect Justin Schultz Can Emulate Jack Johnson, Blake Wheeler

November 20th, 2012 by Al Daniel Leave a reply »
A full month into his first professional hockey season, prospective offensive defenseman Justin Schultz is―so far, anyway―proving the skeptics wrong, including this author.

Granted, how well he has handled his transition from a collegiate athletic regimen to the pros will not become seamlessly clear until later. At least not until after he has surpassed the plateau of 50 games played since his days in the British Columbia League.

But so far, the Anaheim-turned-Edmonton farmhand is playing an irreproachable two-way game in the AHL. His Oklahoma City Barons have crammed their first 15 games into a span of 39 days, and he has stuffed a league-leading 21 points into that span, going pointless on only two nights.

Furthermore, he is doing this on a team that, owing to the NHL lockout, boasts the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Translation: Schultz’s output is surpassing that of three strong colleagues, each with at least a full NHL season on their transcript.

Four years removed from going 43rd overall to the Ducks in the 2008 NHL draft and roughly four months removed from transferring his right ...

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