• Vintage Hockey League

s13 - Schultz Gets The Call [WB9]


KANSAS CITY — Following a humbling 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Saskatoon Blades last night, Oilers 2000 20th-overall pick Nick Schultz is set to make his NHL debut Friday night in the regular season finale against the Kansas City Scouts.

After morning skate, Schultz told the media he found out after last night’s game and since it’s been a "whirlwind."

General Manager Chris Baker has kept a close eye on the 21-year-old during his time in Fort McMurray.  While he did miss a 10-game stretch not too long ago, Baker said he’s been pleased with the rookie’s performance through 71 games this season with the Miners where he has scored three times and added 20 assists.

"I think a lot of things he has been able to do in the AHL will transfer,” Baker said. "Really like the way he thinks defense first. We have a nice compliment of puck-movers, having a good defensive base to work with is sometimes more valuable.  This game tonight is a reward for him.  It’ll be good for him.”

When asked if Schultz will play beyond one game, Baker said, “unlikely.  But we’ll take it one game at a time.”

Baker said he and head coach Jacques Martin discussed playing the rookie on the club’s third pair alongside youngster Brad Stuart.

"I'm not too worried about where I'll be playing, just happy I’m in the lineup and ready to get going,” Schultz said. "I'm excited to get out there and have fun.”

When asked if he thought he’d be nervous playing in his first pro game, Schultz responded by saying, “you don’t really have time to react, to be nervous, you just have to focus on the game,"

In a dog fight with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the President’s trophy - awarded to the team with the most points at the conclusion of the regular season - Edmonton holds its own destiny with tonight’s game.  Sitting with 117 points compared to Pittsburgh’s 115, an Oilers win will secure the franchise’s second Prez trophy and first since 1992-93.

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