Justin Schultz Named Defenseman Of The Year In AHL

AHL Hockey: Oct 28 Barons vs Stars
What a player. Photo by Steven Christy.

Another day, another AHL award for Justin Schultz. This time around it’s the AHL Defenseman of the Year Award which is named after Eddie Shore. The remarkable nature of the Schultzian AHL half-season is in just how many points he accrued in such a short time. 48 points in 34 games is still the most by any defender in the league. Ironically enough, those totals are just shy of the amount put forth by Edmond, Oklahoma native, Matt Donovan, who’s playing for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. His totals are 46 points in 72 games, which is more than twice the number of games played by Schultz. Unreal.

And the season marches on for young Schultz, now with the Edmonton Oilers. But we’ll always look fondly on this incredibly dominate performance as one for the ages. Congrats, Badger.

Official Release, with some great insights I might add:

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz was named the winner of the Eddie Shore Award as American Hockey League Defenseman of the Year, the league’s front office announced today.

After three seasons at the University of Wisconsin, Schultz, a 6-2, 185-pounder from Kelowna, B.C signed with Edmonton last summer, but began the season with Oklahoma City.  His impact with the Oilers’ AHL affiliate was immediate.  He played in 34 games with the Barons and scored 48 points (18-30-48).  That included a franchise record-tying 10-game point-scoring streak and a separate nine-game point-scoring streak.

Despite not playing in Oklahoma City since January 5, Schultz’ 48 points, 18 goals and 19.6 percent shooting percentage is still tops among AHL rearguards.  Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ defenseman Matt Donovan is second in the league with 46 points (14-42-46) in 72 games.  He did much of his scoring for the Barons on special teams.  Of his 48 points, 25 of them (7-18-25) came with the man advantage.  Heading into the last weekend of the season for the Barons, Schultz’ 25 power-play points still leads the team.  Mark Arcobello is second on the club with 24 power-play points (6-18-24).  Schultz also accounted for two of the Barons five short-handed goals on the season.This marks the third postseason award that Schultz has earned.  He was named to the All Rookie Team and was named a First Team AHL All Star last week.  He also earned CCM / AHL Player of the Month honors for the month of October, CCM / AHL Rookie of the Month honors for the month of November.
Schultz is the first rookie in the 55-year history of the Eddie Shore Award to earn the honor.  With the Oilers, Schultz has continued his solid play.  Through 42 games this season, he is the top scoring rearguard on the team with 21 points (6-15-21).