While he may no longer be a frontrunner for the Calder Trophy, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz has received at least two honors for his play this season. On Wednesday, Schultz was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team and the AHL First All-Star Team. Both accomplishments are impressive considering Schultz hasn’t even been in the AHL since the lockout ended, which shows how dominant he was in his short time there with the Oklahoma City Barons.
In 34 games for the Barons, Schultz scored 18 goals and added 30 assists for a total of 48 points. He was also plus-8 with seven power play goals and three game-winning goals. The Barons made hockey headlines frequently during the NHL work stoppage, as Schultz was joined by Oilers teammates Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in Oklahoma City.
Since joining the Oilers, Schultz has shown that all of the teams that pursued him in the offseason did so for good reason. The young defenseman has six goals and 20 points for an Edmonton team that is fighting an uphill battle for a playoff spot. He has contributed 14 of those points on the power play, and has been one of the main reason the Oiler have been one of the league’s best teams with the man-advantage. Another upside of Schultz’s game is the maturity he has shown in his first season. While averaging the second-most time on ice on his time this season, he has only taken three minor penalties. If the Oilers do end up missing the playoffs this season, they can at least know that the young core of their team moving forward now includes one of the best young defensemen in the league.