Monday, September 24, 2007

Season Preview: Jeff Schultz

Jeff Schultz is the anti-Mike Green. Taken at the end of the first round in the 2004 entry draft (just like Mike Green) with a draft pick that we got as a result of the 2004 firesale (just like Mike Green), Jeff Schultz spent his rookie season last year between Washington and Hershey (just like Mike Green). I wasn't kidding in that first sentence though. Where Mike Green looks to make the fancy play, take a risk, and is inconsistent, Jeff Schultz showed in his time in Washington a tendency to make the simple play, be consistent, and use his towering frame to keep oppoenents at bay, without drawing as many penalties as lanky rookie defensemen always seem to draw.

Does he always make the best play? No. Is he very physical? No. Is he very offensive minded? No. These are all things that Jeff Schultz needs to continue to work on as he hones his craft in the Capitals' organization.

Like Mike Green, Schultz will be battling for a spot on that last defensive pair along with Josef Boumedienne, John Erskine, and Steve Eminger. Because he is able to pass through waivers, logic dictates that he will be spending the year in Hershey, at least until someone goes down with an injury. I'm sure we'll see plenty of Jeff Schultz in Washington before the season's end.

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