Ducks Prospect Schultz Named WCHA Defensive Player of the Year
/ Anaheim Ducks
Ducks prospect Justin Schultz, a defenseman from Wisconsin, was recently named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2010-11 season. Schultz, who was selected by the Ducks in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft was also named to the 2011 All-WCHA First Team.
Schultz’s selection as the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, which is selected by the 12 league coaches, is history making. He is the first sophomore honored with the award since it was first handed out in 1992.
Schultz is poised to make history in other ways for the Badgers as the season reaches its final month. The West Kelowna, British Columbia native is the second straight Badger to earn the league’s top defensive award, with defensemen Brendan Smith earning the honor in 2009-10. Schultz’s 18 goals so far this season are the most for any defenseman in the country since the 2002-03 season and one off the UW record. He’s the nation’s leading point scorer among defensemen and also leads the Badgers with 46 points. Among his goals are nine power-play goals, five first goals and three game-winning goals, including an overtime game-winning goal. He posted the first hat trick by a UW defenseman since 1991-92 and logs over 30 minutes of ice time per game.
Schultz is the fourth Badger to capture the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year Award, joining defensemen Brian Rafalski (1994-95), Jeff Dessner (1999-2000) and Smith (2009-10).
Schultz was also among five Badgers honored as 2011 WCHA All-Academic Team members. To earn recognition as a member of the All-WCHA Academic Team, member team student-athletes must meet the following criteria: 1) have completed one year of residency at present institution, prior to the current academic year; and 2) have a grade point average of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) for the previous two semesters or three quarters.