At this point in time I have to say Gardiner because unlike Schultz, he has played in the NHL and shown that his play can translate. My opinion could change in as little as 1 NHL game for Schultz though, going to have to wait and see.
Schultz is better, still disappointed he chose to go to Edm. Maybe he knew te city couldn't get their crap together and the team will get moved. Only reason I see anyone going to Edm if their not drafted there.
Based on what I've read, Schultz has a higher ceiling of potential than Gardiner but it's hard to ignore that Gardiner has done something that Schultz has yet to do - he's translated his game to the NHL level and has been impressive while doing so. I do think Schultz will translate his game just as successfully as Gardiner was able to do, but for now I don't think it's fair to rate a guy who hasn't played a single NHL game above a guy who's already played a full season and done really well.
Not to mention, Gardiner has played a lot of hockey since being traded to Toronto. When I see him in games, it often looks like things are too easy for him and this is a guy that basically played a full NHL schedule, plus a long, intense playoff schedule in the AHL and has come back after a very short off season. It would have been nice to have Schultz but I'm just as happy to have Gardiner.
but i don't know why we need constant reassurance.
It might not be in the future, but why does that matter? It's not like Schultz determines how good Gardiner gets. If Schultz becomes the next Nik Lidstrom, that doesn't mean Gardiner isn't a good player.
They have been essentially the same player all their career. Gardiner and Schultz both were dominant in Wisconsin, one being more dominant then the other at different times. With that said, who would you choose between the two identical players throughout their career, of the same calibre one of which has played at a ppg in 4 AHL games and one who already has a 30 point NHL rookie season under his belt.
Cant comment on Schultz as i havnt seen him play yet...
However Jake Gardiner has basically already solidified himself as the leafs #2 defenseman. His all around game is quite exceptional for such a young defenseman. If Schultz is better then Edmonton acquired a mighty fine free wallet.
I know Schultz was seen as the better offensive talent, i wonder how his defensive play compares to Gardiner's
Doubt anyone here has seen Schultz play, so tough to judge.
Justin Schultz was born in Kelowna and we went to the same high school in fact. He grew up 5 minutes from my home, where his parents still reside.
He played 2 years for the Westside Warriors of the BCHL, which is based out of Kelowna, and I must have seen him play in person 50+ times at least as a junior player pre-draft.
When people do get to see him play he will remind them on style of play including skating and mobility of a young Scott Niedermayer. Oilers fans are going to witness a young Dman that is going to remind them of former Oiler great Paul Coffey of the past as he effortlessly glides around the ice and joins the attack.
That said as a Leaf fan I can't help but be exceptionally pleased with Jake Gardiner and his play to date as a Leaf. A former USA Highschooler that played center, to a converted Dman in NCAA that has all the makings of a top pairing Dman in his future in the NHL. Quite remarkable considering he has only played the position for such a short time, and made the adjustment effortlessly. Best young Leaf dman to come along since Tomas Kaberle for the Leafs, when it comes to excelling offensively.
Both are great young Dmen with bright futures ahead, so it would be hard to pick as the head would say Justin but heart would sake Jake.
Signature: There is no greater demonstration of Fan patience then to suggest to "Play the Kids " and be willing to accept the consequences of those actions..