Edmonton Oilers blueliner Justin Schultz has been both dominant and consistent in the AHL. He comfortably leads all rookies and defensemen in points with 46 in just 33 games with the Oklahoma City Barons going into Saturday’s contest.
In the coming days, we will probably find out if the NHL season will be saved or lost and if it’s the prior, Schultz will leave Oklahoma City to start his Oilers career. Before that potentially happens though, he has a shot at tying or breaking a significant record.
As the Oilers pointed out, Schultz needs just two more goals to tie the AHL’s single-season record for a rookie defensemen, which currently sits at 20. Schultz netted his 18th goal on Friday and has found the back of the net five to six times in each of the first three months of the 2012-13 campaign.
The single-season goal-scoring record for a blueliner at any stage of his career is 30, which Schultz might make a run for if the NHL season is lost. He’s also a contender to in the AHL’s scoring race, although teammate Jordan Eberle has opened up a four-point lead.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.