Oilers defenceman Justin Schultz wasn’t very pleased with how the 2014-15 season played out.
“It obviously wasn’t a good year for me and the team,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of improvement to work on this summer. I thought there were times where I thought I was improving and times where I wasn’t. It’s going to be a big summer for me to come back and be ready to play in the fall.”
The improvement he talked about starts with the battles in the corners and along the wall. That is an area of Schultz’s game that he wants to improve. Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson sees that as an area for growth as well.
“Everybody can up their battle level and that’s one thing we talked with Justin about,” said Nelson. “He’s been making the conscience effort to do so. You can see him, with the battle drills in practice, make an effort to get better. That has improved, especially over the last couple of weeks. That’s a focal point.”
For Justin to be able to win more of those battles, he intends to hit the gym and put an emphasis on getting stronger and upping the intensity this off-season.
“For me, it’s obviously building some more strength to help me in the battles in the corners and my defensive game, which is obviously something I need to improve on. That’s going to be my focus and hopefully I can make some strides this summer,” Schultz said.
The defenceman played 81 games this season, recording 31 points (6-25-31) and 31 penalty minutes. He was -17.