At 6'1", 185 lbs, you can see Schultz pretty decent size. The sophomore is only 20 years old so you can expect him to put on more weight as he progresses to the AHL. You can add weight, but you can't always add height. Being 6'1" definitely helps his cause.
As a freshman, Schultz had a respectable 22 points in 43 games and he is absolutely tearing up the NCAA this year with 26 points in 22 games, which prorates to 51 points over the course of a 43 game season. That leads all Badger players and most definitely leads all NCAA defensemen. Hell, he's in a 7-way tie for the 5th most points in the NCAA with some company such as Jaden Schwartz and Cam Atkinson. Schultz had a hat trick against Michigan State back on 11/27 and has 7 multi-point games on the year. Gardiner also assisted on all 3 Schultz goals against MI St. It's also interesting to note that both Gardiner and Schultz are forwards-turned-defensemen. You might see some adjustment learning the defense game in players like that, but they're always thinking about how to get the puck in the net. Phenomenal skill-set on Schultz, who has adjusted a little more swiftly than Gardiner.
If you're wondering how the two compared to each other since Gardiner came to college a year earlier, Schultz actually outscored him last season and he's doing it again this year. Many times the players you skate with say a lot about the experience you're gaining and the level you can expect to someday be at. When you see a fellow player make significant strides, you want to do everything you can to follow and you've also seen first hand what that type of skillset looks like. This is what Schultz saw after playing last season with Derek Stepan
and a couple kids by the names of Blake Geoffrion and Brendan Smith.
Back in Anaheim, Visnovsky, Lydman, and Fowler are all signed through 2013. Outside of Visnovsky, Fowler and Sbisa are the only 2 current Ducks that the Wisconsin duo will have to fight against for offensive minutes. The reason I overlook Visnovsky is because he is somewhat injury prone and with his age, he could either end up on the IR or traded by the time the Ducks are looking to get Schultz in the lineup. Sbisa has been highly touted ever since he made the Flyers as an 18 year old, but unless he turns some heads by April, he likely won't receive much of a raise. A low salaried contract for him gives even more of an open door to Schultz. With the Ducks in desperate need of some quality defensemen, don't be surprised if Anaheim pushes for Schultz and Gardiner to sign AHL contracts after their NCAA season is over this year. Barring any unforeseen trades or signings, Schultz and Fowler should be the top two Ducks blue line producers in 2-3 years, with Gardiner and Sbisa around to round out the top four.
The way Schultz is playing, you should not be surprised at all if he signs his first pro contract upon conclusion of his NCAA season. He would best be served with one year of AHL hockey and as Van Horne suggested, he could be ready by 2012-13. Van Horne has 10-40-50 as a possible point total for Schultz, but I think it's very possible for Schultz to hit 15 goals or more. I do agree though that in his good years, 50 points is a realistic number (likely not hitting that number until 2014-15 at the earliest). If you're in a league where defenseman goals are worth more, keep an eye out.
The Ducks top prospect Justin Schultz’s season ended yesterday at the University of Wisconsin. He’s said to be considering all options including: “1. Returning to Wisco
for his senior season (unlikely IMO). 2. Signing 2 yr entry level deal with ANA and burns 1st yr by playing now…” … “3. Leave school at end of semester
, become UFA July 1, sign with NHL team of choice. Hearing no decision is imminent, will take his time.” … “Longer Schultz goes
w/o making firm decision would appear to be bad news for ANA. Ducks want this kid in the lineup now. Talented 2nd rder.” … “If Schultz goes to UFA
, it would be a major blow to ANA. If he doesn’t sign soon, logical implication is he’s going to UFA.”
Go Canucks Go
Canucks - 4 Columbus - 2 (Final)