Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Fred » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:49 am

Other NCAA players in competition with Schultz


Maine Black Bears’ Spencer Abbott eyes NHL

Published On Thu Mar 22 2012Email
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Spencer Abbott of Hamilton, a senior with the Maine Black Bears, hopes to parlay four quality seasons in Maine into an NHL career.

Kevin McGranSports Reporter


It would appear Spencer Abbott did the smart thing. But then, he’s going to be a college graduate.

By staying in college for his full four years, the undrafted Hamilton native may have given himself his best chance at making the NHL, according to a study that shows four-year college players are more successful long-term than those who turn pro early.

Certainly, the 23-year-old left winger is going to have at least half the teams in the NHL lining up to sign him once the season ends for the Maine Black Bears.

“I think I’ve really developed as a player in my four years there,” said Abbott, citing the Maple Leafs as his favourite team and Doug Gilmour and Pavel Datsyuk as his favourite players. “Every year, I’ve learned something new. This year has obviously been a special one for me.”

Abbott, whose status is questionable for Maine’s opening game Saturday against Minnesota Duluth in the Northeast Regional tournament in Worcester, Mass., due to a concussion, resisted the temptation to leave the University of Maine early when the pros started sniffing around last season.

It paid off. He had his best season offensively and was named this week one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award that goes annually to the top player in U.S. college hockey.

Too small to play major junior, Abbott played Junior A with the Hamilton Red Wings. He had a late growth spurt to reach 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. He was an alternate captain on the Black Bears.

Abbott’s offensive numbers rose each year with Maine — he led the team in scoring this year with 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists). He believes he’s ready for the NHL.

“When I came into this league, I was more of an offensive guy. I’ve been trying really hard to get better on the other side of the puck, defensively. It’s tough to do, especially at the next level. I hope to be a two-way player.”

Abbott worked out last summer with Gary Roberts at his high performance training institute and the plan is to go back this summer to get ready for life in the pros.

“Speed, skill and strength is what I’ve been trying to implement in my game. I’ve been working hard in the off-season. (I’ve got to) put on more weight, get faster, bigger, stronger. I think I’ve done that consecutive years.”

Stuart Hyman, who owns the Hamilton Red Wings as well as International Scouting Services, which ranks players, says Abbott has what it takes to play pro.

“He’s got excellent speed and really good hockey sense,” said Hyman. “He’s got what it takes to make it at the next level. He’s focused. He started as a younger kid within our (Hamilton) organization and his game really blossomed at the college level.

“The great thing about Spencer is he’s got the right attitude, he’s very committed, very focused and I would never count him out.”

Scouts, GMs and assistant GMs will be spread out across the U.S. watching prospects in the NCAA’s four regional tournaments, leading to the Frozen Four championship game April 7 in Tampa, Fla. Top-ranked Boston College and Air Force are the other teams in the Northeast Regional.

Once a team is eliminated, the undrafted players on those teams are considered free agents and could sign a pro contract.

Some may want to continue with school. Some may want to come out early. Many, like Abbott, will have finished with college eligibility and will be looking for the right fit — perhaps the most generous contract, perhaps their favourite team, perhaps the easiest route to the NHL.

A study by College Hockey Inc. shows it’s better — for the player and for the NHL — for college players to play out their full eligibility before turning pro.

• Seventy-four players who have appeared in the NHL this year were signed out of college as undrafted free agents; 72 per cent of those stayed in school all four years.

• Since the lockout, 52 free agents have left school early. Only seven of those players have played more than 80 games in the NHL. Twenty-five have left in the last three years — only Tyler Bozak and Chris Tanev are currently on NHL rosters — and five of those are no longer under NHL contracts.

“I definitely recommend college,” Abbott said. “I just learned so much at the university and learned how to be a two-way player. You go to junior, there’s a lot of offence, you don’t really see two sides of the puck.

“Coaches here do a great job of teaching you how to play on both sides of the puck. That’s the most important thing.”

NCAA free agents

Spencer Abbott has already caught the attention of NHL scouts. Here’s five more college free agents likely headed for pro careers:

DANNY DEKEYSER

Western Michigan, D

Sophomore has good size (6-3), supposedly ready to step in and play. Reports suggest he wants to return for junior season. Said to be the most sought after college player of the season.

J.T. BROWN

Minnesota Duluth, F

Sophomore is son of former NFL running back Ted Brown, and the Most Outstanding Player at last year’s Frozen Four. Great speed. Pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor crimes as the result of a summertime run-in with police. Had no comment to reporters on issue.

JEREMY WELSH

Union, F

Junior from Bayfield, Ont. A pure goal-scorer (25 goals) with good size (6-3, 200). MVP of the ECAC tournament.

TRAVIS OLEKSUK

Minnesota Duluth, F

Senior from Thunder Bay, Ont., who centres J.T. Brown’s line. Excellent two-way player whose game has grown by leaps and bounds in four years. Recorded career-high 51 points (21 goals, 30 assists) this season.

CAMERON SCHILLING

Miami, D

Senior is primarily a defensive defenceman with decent size (6-2, 200). Teammate of Leafs draft pick Tyler Biggs.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Fred » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:40 am

More on Mt Schultz

This summer, it’s highly likely that prized Anaheim Ducks defensive prospect Justin Schultz will become an unrestricted free agent. While the NHL’s other 29 teams – including the Oilers – would all undoubtedly love to get a hold of him, Edmonton might be a uniquely appropriate fit.


If Schultz sees things that way, the Oilers could address a lot of problems immediately.



First, why might Schultz consider the Oilers? Do we have any evidence that he’s leaning toward landing in Edmonton?


On the second point, there’s no way of knowing exactly what Schultz is thinking right now. However, TSN Insider Bob McKenzie – as connected a reporter as there is in hockey – said last month that he thought the Edmonton Oilers had the best chance at landing Justin Schultz.


At a certain level, it makes sense. Schultz will need to sign an entry-level deal with whichever team drafts him, which means a two-way contract that could see him demoted to the minors. The best way to prevent that from happening is to join a team with an anemic defense – and for once, that weakness might work in the Oilers’ favour. Additionally, Schultz would presumably like to play for a team that has some chance of competing in the next few years. It’s not easy to find a team that combines potential with a miserable defense, and the Oilers are uniquely positioned in that regard.


Schultz currently plays college hockey at the University of Wisconsin, but he’s from Kelowna originally, so playing in Western Canada might appeal.


What would the Oilers be getting? In the link above, I include profiles by McKeen’s Hockey as well as prospect expert Corey Pronman, who describes Schultz as “filthy good” and having the ability to “control the game.”As it happens, though, we’ve had two posts up at the Nation Network worth reading. First, there’s Jason Gregor’s conversation with Mike Eaves, Schultz’s coach in Wisconsin. It’s an excellent post that I highly recommend reading, but one of the things that struck me was Eaves’ commentary on Schultz’s character:


[H]e's wired as a real competitive young man. When he was a freshman, we were playing North Dakota. There was a little incident at the end of the game, and he wanted to jump off the bench and go get involved and take care of his teammates and such. He has a real fiery kind of competitive edge within him, and that's rare when you combine it with the fact that he is a very skilled hockey player.


There’s also Jeff Angus’ take on Canucks Army; Angus spoke with Chuck Schwartz (who covers the University of Wisconsin Badgers) about Schultz. Schwartz had nothing but good things to say about Schultz:


No question that Schultz is NHL ready right now. In my opinion he's unquestionably the top blue-liner playing college hockey right now. Remember that Schultz was a first -team All-American last season, and was widely considered to have a better season than Gardiner, who has had a pretty nice rookie season in Toronto. He's ready to make the move.


Schultz is a 21-year old right-handed shot with good size, offensive flair, and a burgeoning defensive game. He’d offer the Oilers a second blue-liner in the same mold as Jeff Petry, but one with an even higher ceiling to his game (Petry’s college numbers at the same age, while respectable, pale in comparison to Schultz’s). Along with Petry and Smid, the addition of Schultz would fill three of the top-four spots on the Oilers long-term plan.


Schultz could be a cornerstone piece in a position of need, and along with Nail Yakupov would make this summer a pretty clear win for the Oilers organization.


Now, Steve Tambellini just needs to convince him to sign in Edmonton.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby black ace » Fri May 11, 2012 12:58 pm

Its been pretty quiet on the Schultz rumor front lately but his family is reportedly huge Canuck fans. It will come down to a sell job and this is where Gillis needs to get it done.

Could hopefully see him fit into the Tanev role of playing lots in the AHL followed by a late season call up.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Tanti09 » Sat May 12, 2012 8:10 am

black ace wrote:Its been pretty quiet on the Schultz rumor front lately but his family is reportedly huge Canuck fans. It will come down to a sell job and this is where Gillis needs to get it done.

Could hopefully see him fit into the Tanev role of playing lots in the AHL followed by a late season call up.


Problem is Schultz reportedly wants to step in and play decent NHL minutes right away. So if the Canucks are in the running it will be because they have promised him at least a 5/6 role right away.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby RoyalDude » Sat May 12, 2012 8:12 am

It's down to us or the Oilers from what I understand.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby TDA Rum » Sat May 12, 2012 10:22 am

Inside info RD ? or did you read this somewhere ?
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Fred » Sat May 12, 2012 11:22 am

TDA Rum wrote:Inside info RD ? or did you read this somewhere ?


Bob McKenzie wrote an article to that effect. If Ballard goes I suspect we can hope for Schultz. As you said he wants ice time.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Fred » Sat May 26, 2012 11:46 am


Justin Schultz, the Anaheim Ducks second-round pick and blue-chip defenceman prospect, has officially "de-registered" from the University of Wisconsin.

That triggers a process that will likely make him an unrestricted free agent, perhaps as early as the NHL Draft on June 22.

According to league rules, from the time Anaheim was given notice of the de-registration from school -- believed to be Tuesday of this week -- the Ducks have a 30-day exclusive window where they still own his rights and can either try to sign him or trade him.

Because Schultz has chosen to initiate this process to free agency, there's no logical reason to believe there's any chance of Anaheim signing him now when they could not get it done through most of April and May.

It is believed Anaheim will try to recoup something for Schultz in trade but that option only works if Schultz is prepared to negotiate with the team(s) Anaheim would trade him to.

A trade could lead to Schultz signing with the team of his choice and the Ducks getting something in return. Or Schultz could simply wait for the 30-day window to expire -- presumably on June 21 -- and begin entertaining free-agent offers from any team.

Schultz would not, however, be able to actually sign an NHL contract until July 1.

No reason has been given as to why Schultz has opted to explore this route rather than sign with the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2008 Draft.

Next to New Jersey's Zach Parise and Nashville's Ryan Suter, the soon-to-be 22-year-old from West Kelowna, B.C., may be the most sought after NHL free agent.

Schultz was drafted 43rd overall by Anaheim while playing in the British Columbia Junior Hockey League. He played another year in the BCJHL after he was drafted, which gave him the ability to pursue free-agency if he de-registered from school. He had just completed his junior season at Wisconsin and was one of the premier players in all of U.S. college hockey last season.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Tanti09 » Sat May 26, 2012 1:02 pm

Fred wrote:

It is believed Anaheim will try to recoup something for Schultz in trade but that option only works if Schultz is prepared to negotiate with the team(s) Anaheim would trade him to.

A trade could lead to Schultz signing with the team of his choice and the Ducks getting something in return. Or Schultz could simply wait for the 30-day window to expire -- presumably on June 21 -- and begin entertaining free-agent offers from any team.

Schultz would not, however, be able to actually sign an NHL contract until July


So the question becomes what is a highly regarded but non-proven NHL prospect worth? Would the Canucks entertain the idea of trading for his rights or is it even worth trying since he's hinted that he wants to play for the Canucks or Oilers?
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Potatoe1 » Sat May 26, 2012 1:23 pm

Tanti09 wrote:So the question becomes what is a highly regarded but non-proven NHL prospect worth? Would the Canucks entertain the idea of trading for his rights or is it even worth trying since he's hinted that he wants to play for the Canucks or Oilers?



Shultz gave up a lot of money and a year of his ELC to become a free agent, it would seem odd to go through all of that and then sign with another team before checking everything out.

It happens with UFA's because there is competition both ways, but every team in the league would take Shultz on an ELC at any time. There is no one else as good as him who could be had on an ELC.

He can take his time, talk to everyone and make the decision he feels is the best one.

And yes you have to think the Canucks have a great shot here. Not only is he a local kid but we have a long term need for a right handed offensive defenseman to play with Edler. Salo is either gone or will be soon and that leaves Bieksa and Tanev as our only right side guys. We also have a vacant point spot on the first unit power play. And further it's an experienced team with good goaltending which could provide some protection for a young defenseman.

The Oilers have great young forwards and that might be appealing, but they are going to get lit up defensively and it may not be the best learning environment for a rookie.

Plus Edmonton fucking sucks, if he visits both cities in June, it might make for an easier decision.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Fred » Sat May 26, 2012 1:54 pm

It's like getting a free 1st round pick....a high one at that. Some thing like recouping the 1st rounder we gave up for Ballard or better. But I don't see him wanting to play with the Wolfs next season which I would have to think MG will insist on
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Island Nucklehead » Sat May 26, 2012 2:23 pm

Fred wrote:It's like getting a free 1st round pick....a high one at that. Some thing like recouping the 1st rounder we gave up for Ballard or better. But I don't see him wanting to play with the Wolfs next season which I would have to think MG will insist on


Well I think you promise him a roster spot is his to lose. See how he does at camp. Salary isn't a factor, as he's bound by an ELC max $925,000 or something. If I'm Gillis, I throw him that base salary, plus a shit-pile of bonus cash.

Adding Shultz to the bottom pairing makes Ballard replacable, imo. So even if you piled up the bonus to $3M or something like that, you're saving money if he plays in the bigs over Ballard. If he doesn't perform at camp, he plays in the minors for the AHL max.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Tanti09 » Sat May 26, 2012 9:49 pm

My understanding is that he's a UFA. Meaning he's not held to the same ELC conditions as other 1st year players. He can sign for the big $$$. Am I wrong in assuming this?

I agree that he would probably be served better by going to the Wolves and dominating the AHL next year but Schultz's firm intentions are to play in the NHL. So I can see the Canucks tell Schultz that a roster spot is his to lose. And the rest will be up to him in Sept/Oct to prove he can play.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Island Nucklehead » Sun May 27, 2012 12:04 am

Tanti09 wrote:My understanding is that he's a UFA. Meaning he's not held to the same ELC conditions as other 1st year players. He can sign for the big $$$. Am I wrong in assuming this?


Yes. You're incorrect. He's UFA, but he was drafted. Therefore he's not a true college UFA (a la Gilroy). He can sign with whoever, but it's for the max allowed under his draft year.

I agree that he would probably be served better by going to the Wolves and dominating the AHL next year but Schultz's firm intentions are to play in the NHL. So I can see the Canucks tell Schultz that a roster spot is his to lose. And the rest will be up to him in Sept/Oct to prove he can play.


Agreed. And honestly, given the Canucks D, there's no reason for this *edit *not* to be the case. We're not exactly thick on D. We have a number of defencemen, but the bottom half (ie bottom 2 and the 6-9 positions) are very fluid. He'd have every chance to earn a spot on the back-end at training camp.
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Re: Justin Schultz ...who the heck...????

Postby Southern_Canuck » Tue May 29, 2012 7:52 am

Justin Schultz to Toronto rumours heat up

excerpt:
The 2012 WCHA defenseman of the year is believed to be as good as gone from Anaheim's system. Michael Russo reports two interesting things: 1) that the Ducks might accuse another NHL team of "tampering" with Schultz before the appropriate time and 2) that the Toronto Maple Leafs might end up getting the highly regarded blueliner. Take both rumors with a grain of salt, though.


Seems kind of unlikely that Brian Burke would go behind his good friend Bob Murray's back --- perhaps Schultz's friend and former teammate Jake Gardiner talked to Schultz about playing for Toronto, but that wouldn't be tampering...

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