Ian Schultz has always looked up to his big brother.
The runt of the litter at 'just' 6-ft. 1-in., the 14-year-old local product needs a major growth spurt to look eye-to-eye with his sibling, 6-ft. 7-in. Calgary Hitmen defenceman Jeff Schultz.
But by the time Ian is ready to suit up for the Hitmen -- who selected the youngster in the second round (33rd overall) of yesterday's WHL bantam draft -- he could be on even footing.
Jeff, who has patrolled the Calgary blueline for the past three seasons, says his little bro can handle the heavy going.
"I think he's a little thicker than I was at that age," Jeff says. "He'll start working out and probably sprout up a few more inches."
Ian, a feisty centre with soft hands, had 27 goals and 53 points in 30 games with the Calgary Rangers triple-A bantam club this season.
The pair could hit the ice together this fall at the Hitmen training camp, where they can pick up where they left off last winter.
"We play at Lake Bonavista when it freezes in the winter," Ian says.
"Sometimes it gets going pretty good but around 8:30, it's just me and him with the lights on."
And that's when school is in and Jeff can pass on a few pointers.
"He tells me to use more than one move because he always stops me on it," Ian admits.
The youngster, who hopes to catch on with the Calgary Buffaloes triple-A midget club for the 2005-06 season, is looking to follow in his brother's oversized footsteps.
Jeff, a first-round draft choice of the Washington Capitals, says he'll lend a helping hand whenever he can.
"I'm excited because this is the first time where we could possibly play together," says Jeff, who would have to return as an overager in order for the duo to play together on a regular basis.
"He's looked up to me since I started playing with the Hitmen.
"So for him to follow in my footsteps is a dream come true for him."
Jeff compares his brother to a certain high-profile power forward on the Hitmen.
"He kind of plays like (Andrew) Ladd," Jeff says. "He likes to get in the corners, grind it out and set guys up in front."
Calgary head scout Brad Whelen says Ian could be a mainstay on one of the club's top lines for years to come.
"He's a lanky guy with good skill who can score some goals," Whelen said. "He's an intelligent hockey player with a nose for the net.
"He comes from a good family and it doesn't hurt that his older brother plays for us and he's been a good citizen."