Thread: Post-Game Talk: Oilers lose 4-3 in SO
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03-21-2013, 02:18 AM
The Perfect Human*
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Edmonton
Country: Canada
Posts: 7,943
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Right now Justin Schultz is a Joe Corvo-level player (circa last year). Below average even-strength that is passable in a bottom pairing role as long as he's getting top-level PP minutes to produce like he does. Obviously he's much better in that PP role than Corvo is, but the even-strength use is the same.

Both of them struggle with GA/60 whenever given an anything more than a bottom-pairing role, and struggle to produce GF/60 irregardless of their super-human PP production.

Basically, Schultz at 22 is playing like Fowler at 18-19. Fowler obviously has a higher ceiling than Schultz thanks to him having a higher developmental potential (that good at 18-19), but Schultz in 2-3 years will likely be as good as Fowler is now at even-strength. 2nd pairing role, team not struggling when he's on the ice - basically a Petry.
Fowler's points being down this year is a bit of an anomaly - perhaps explainable because ANA's PP game is more focused on below-the-dots play than with point play (unless Souray/Beachemin are on the ice). Regardless, I expect him to be back at that 30-40 point pace again soon.

As Schultz develops, I hope to see him develop an ES point production ability with a passable top-4 defensive ability. Basically a useful 2nd pairing defenseman. If things pan out he could become a Tomas Kaberle for us. A useful piece on a team as long as it's being used properly (#1 PP, 2nd pairing ES minutes, minimal PK)

In terms of overall on-ice performance at age 22, he's playing similar to a 23-year old Petry for us in terms of ES play. Obviously his PP production is another tier, but Petry provides a good model for what we can expect Schultz to become as an ES player in the next few years. Great in a 2nd pairing role, perhaps passable in a top-pairing role if given the right partner.

Pretty sweet pick-up for a free-agent.

Last edited by The Perfect Human*: 03-21-2013 at 02:33 AM.
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