January 27 2013 11:41AM

One of the ways we can evaluate rookie players is by comparing them to players of the past. In the case of Justin Schultz, finding rookie comparables might be a problem. Why? Justin Schultz is unique.

Justin Schultz has played 4 NHL games now and is among the league's top 30 defensemen in time-on-ice (ranks 28th this morning in the NHL among D, 24:02 per game). Among rookie defensemen, the numbers are impressive:


  1. Justin Schultz, Edmonton 24:02
  2. Matt Irwin, San Jose 19:07
  3. Jonas Brodin, Minnesota 19:05
  4. Brian Lashoff, Detroit 18:06
  5. Brendan Smith, Detroit 18:04

That's a big number, 24 minutes a night. To put it in some perspective, only four Oilers defensemen have averaged 24 or more minutes a night in one season since 2005 and they did it only 6 times: Ryan Whitney 10-11 (25:20); Tom Gilbert 10-11 (24:30); Ryan Whitney 09-10 (24:45); Sheldon Souray 08-09 (24:50). Sheldon Souray 07-08 (24:20); Chris Pronger 05-06 (27:59).

That's some impressive company. It's early, but the young man is unlikely to play less than he is now, and as the season wears along it is possible he'll add penalty-killing to his EV and PP minutes.


In historic terms, the Edmonton Oilers are an upstart club. Most teams with their history have won their 5 Stanley's over an 80 or 90 year span; we've been spoiled since 1979-80 compared to the rest of the hockey world.

In spite of the Stanley's, the Hart's, the Smythe's, no Oiler has ever won the Calder, emblematic of the top NHL rookie each season. They've been close--the NHL made up a silly rule to rob Gretzky, Kurri and Arnott's brilliant debut's were overshadowed by others, and more recently Hall and the Nuge were injured and unable to win the prize.

The Oilers have two genuine hopes this season. Nail Yakupov, who has scored 2 goals and is as famous as any rookie since Crosby courtesy being a #1 pick and the most famous celebration in regular season history, has a real chance to win it.

And Justin Schultz has a better one. He is 4, 2-3-5 and ranks 2nd in scoring among all NHL defensemen, leading rookie blue by two points (Boston's Dougie Hamilton--another outstanding rookie--has 3 points). Among all rookies, the defenseman trails only Vladimir Tarasenko and Cory Conacher (who have 7 points each) and he leads all NHL rookies in time-on-ice.



There is still so much to be revealed--but its already clear we're talking about something quite special in regard to Justin Schultz. The Oilers acquired exactly what they needed, and Schultz landed in an ideal spot for him.

It is, quite frankly, a perfect fit.

Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on TSN 1260.
#51 Mikey
January 28 2013, 07:45AM
Trash it!
Walter Sobchak wrote:

This how I see it unfolding folks.

The Oilers don't go after Getzlaf, they can't afford to in the long run.

Instead the Oilers draft 6'3 205lbs Sasha Barkov in the 6-8 spot just shy of the lottery selection.

This gives the Oilers more options going forward, they can resign Gagner and buyout Horcoff or trade Gagner and keep Horcoff.

The Preadtors will be looking to deal Shea Weber once the year ends, the Oilers will be in on this.........sorry folks but Petry is part of this deal.

With Klefbolm arriving the Oilers will be looking to unload a top 4, Petry is the guy here.

Smid is signed, Whitney will be offered 1.5 over two years, he's offended by the offer and is shown the door.

The Oilers try and acquire Ryan Clowe.

The Oilers trade for Ben Bishop.

The Oilers try and acquire Bouwmeester who is bought out by the Flames.

The Oilers trade Hemsky

Eager is shown the door as with Hordichuk.

Finally.........The Oilers fire Tambellini, they move him into director of AHL operations.

MacT become's Oilers new GM and Schultz wins the Calder narrowly beating Yakupov.

BeAGM in NHL13 is not the same in real life....

#52 oilerman53
January 28 2013, 10:53PM
Trash it!

@Time Travelling Sean

Ive read in a lot of rumor sites that the Hawks has shown interest in Gagner in recent years. After 6 points in 5 games I dont think Gagner is going anywhere soon. Ive never read anywhere that Visnovsky has ever asked for a trade out of Edmonton. I think conditional picks based on playoff performance and or contracr signing for Getzlaf would be a good bargaining chip. 2n rounders are usually the norm for goalie trades and with the Sens being high on Bishop its worth a shot. Better then a roster player, I also read that we have an extra 2nd rounder in this years draft to use in a parlay.

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