Ducks defenseman prospect Justin Schultz was named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in the NCAA.
The University of Wisconsin sophomore had been partnered in Madison with defenseman Jake Gardiner, a 2008 first-round draft pick by the Ducks who was packaged with Joffrey Lupul in the trade that brought Francois Beauchemin back to Anaheim. Gardiner was deemed expendable in part because of the development of Schultz, who leads all NCAA defensemen with 18 goals and 47 points.
The other finalists are: Cam Atkinson, Boston College, junior forward; Carter Camper, Miami (Ohio), senior forward; Jack Connolly, Minnesota Duluth, junior forward; Matt Frattin, North Dakota, senior forward; Andy Miele, Miami (Ohio), senior forward; Gustav Nyquist, Maine, junior forward; Chase Polacek, RPI, senior forward; Paul Thompson, New Hampshire, senior forward; and Paul Zanette, Niagara, senior forward.
More on Schultz from the press release on the UW website:
The WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and a 2011 All-WCHA First Team
selection, Schultz put up more goals than any defenseman in the country
since the 2002-03 campaign. The West Kelowna, British Columbia native
climbed into second place on UW’s single-season goals list for a
defenseman with 18, one off the mark set by longtime NHL player Sean
Hill during the 1990-91 season. In the process, Schultz passed by
legendary Badger names such as Chris Chelios, Bob Suter, Bruce Driver
and Brian Engblom on the single-season goal-scoring list for rear
The nation’s leading power-play point producer, Schultz produced a
remarkably consistent season, never playing more than two games without
collecting a point. He started five of UW’s 41 games with the first goal
of the contest, scored the overtime game-winning goal in a 6-5 victory
over Canisius on Jan. 8 to snap UW’s 26-game overtime winless drought
and posted the sixth hat trick for a Badger defenseman in program
history with three goals against Michigan State on Nov. 27. Also the
sixth UW defenseman to lead the team in scoring, he was the WCHA’s
nominee for the Hockey Commissioners’ Association National Player of the
Month for January.
Schultz completed the season as the UW leader with 14 multi-point
games. He was the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for Nov. 29. Chosen
in the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, 43rd overall by the
Anaheim Ducks, Schultz put up two scoring streaks of five games and two
more of four games during the just completed season. His 47 points
heading into Thursday’s action ranked fifth among all WCHA skaters.