Saturday, May 3, 2008

Justin Schultz, BCHL Interior Defenseman of the Year

Looking back at the blog entries from the past month or so, I realized that we had neglected to post this! A couple weeks ago, a reader was kind enough to email me regarding this honor, and I have been very delinquent in posting it myself or checking to see if the other contributors had posted anything. So my apologies to reader Kenny and to Justin Schultz fans everywhere . . . [hangs head] . . .

Justin Schultz was named Defenseman of the Year for the BCHL's Interior Conference. (For those who don't follow the BCHL, it has two 8-team conferences -- the Coastal Conference and the Interior Conference.) Not too shabby, considering Schultz was a rookie this past season.

The Kelowna Capital News has a very nice article about Schultz's breakout season and his winning the award.

“It’s a great accomplishment for him,” said Warriors coach Mark Howell, who finished as the runner up to Penticton’s Fred Harbinson for Interior coach of the year. “Justin really established himself as one of the premier guys in the league, especially in the second half of the season.”

To say this year has been a breakout season for Schultz would be an understatement.

Coming out of Westside Minor Hockey’s midget AAA team last year, the 17-year-old drew the attention of NHL and college scouts with his smooth skating, pinpoint passing and electric end-to-end rushes.

Here's what Gandalf had to say about Schultz in his BCHL wrap-up last month:
Justin Schultz played his 1st season w/ the Westside Warriors and looks to have the makings of a great defensemen. From his stats, he doesn't take a lot of penalties and appears to be a solid performer on the PP. He was tied for the team lead in scoring for defensemen. His stats: Regular Season: 57 games 9-31-40 w/ 5 PP goals and 28 PIM Post Sesaon: 11 games 3-5-8 w/ 1 PP goal and 4 PIM

DPlaya found some video of Schultz, and you can find those on HIW here and here.

Schultz (along with KT) made The Hot List on 4/2/08.
12. Justin Schultz, D – Westside Warriors (BCHL): Schultz’s Warriors may have fallen to Dalpe’s Vees, but the 17-year-old still showed why he has been recruited to shore up the Wisconsin Badgers’ blueline next year. The defender had eight points in 11 post-season games to go along with 40 points in 57 regular season contests. Draft eligible in 2008.
Schultz played for Team West in December in the 2007 CJAHL Propsects Game. He had 1 goal and 1 assist in Team West's 5-3 loss to Team East. In January, he played in the 2008 BCHL All-Star Game, in which he had 1 assist in Team Interior's 15-9 loss to Team Coastal.

I've also listed links for TCT and WSJ coverage of Schultz's verbal to the Badgers:

The Ice House - Defenseman Schultz commits
Badger Blog - Another recruiting coup
WSJ - New recruit offers defense, offense