The dust may still be settling on the trade that sent Jaroslav Halak to St. Louis on Thursday, but what the Habs got in return could end up paying dividends for years to come.
Calgary co-captain Ian Schultz led the Hitmen to a semifinal finish at the Memorial Cup championship this season, racking up 55 points in 70 regular season games, including 10 power play goals to go with two shorthanded markers. But despite posting career-high numbers across the board in his fourth WHL season, it's not Schultz's offensive prowess that had opponents running scared in Western Canada.
Dropping the gloves 18 times this year, the gritty power forward finished second on the team with 150 penalty minutes. Schultz will be looking to carry that sandpaper approach with him to the Hamilton Bulldogs next season, hoping to get his first taste of pro hockey in the AHL in 2010-11.
"When you get young guys who can last a long time with your franchise and build themselves as part of the community and the team, you have to really look at those players," described Habs general manager Pierre Gauthier. "That's what we're hoping to get from Schultz down the road."
While the 20-year-old doesn't have any pro experience under his belt just yet, with his older brother Jeff currently patrolling the Washington Capitals blue line, Schultz has the perfect tutor to teach him the ropes before he lands in Montreal for training camp next fall.
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.