Younger Schultz shows his stuff

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

There wasn't anything on the line, except maybe a little sibling pride.

The Schultz brothers faced each other for the first time at Hitmen training camp yesterday afternoon.

Ian, a 15-year-old centre, was just trying to show the coaching staff he'd be ready when his time comes at next year's camp.

Jeff, a 6-ft. 7-in. veteran blueliner, was just getting himself back into game shape.

The younger Schultz, who held his own at camp, was all smiles after the scrimmage.

"I didn't get to hit him as much as I wanted to," Ian joked about his older brother.

"It was a real good experience, seeing how fast the guys are. When you're sitting up in the stands, you don't really get a perspective of how big the guys are and how fast they're moving. Once you get up against them, it's a big challenge and a good learning experience. I think it'll really help my development."

GM/head coach Kelly Kisio liked what he saw from the feisty forward.

"I thought he was even better with the bigger and older guys," Kisio said of the main camp that kicked off yesterday. "He made some plays, got in a fight. I thought he improved a great deal from the first day."

The younger Schultz will have to wait until next year to make an impact with the Hitmen.

But Jeff will be heavily relied upon this season. With the club losing all of its top-end offensive talent, he'll be asked to take a more active role.

The Washington Capitals first-round draft pick had 11 goals and 35 points in 2003-04. But with Ryan Getzlaf or Shaun Landolt playing the point on the powerplay last season, Schultz managed just a pair of goals.

Kisio plans to have the big blueliner back on the PP.

"He'll be on one of the two powerplays, for sure," Kisio said. "He's a year older and a year stronger and I think he's going to be a dominant guy this year."

Schultz, entering his fourth season with the Hitmen, is looking forward to getting more involved in the offence.

"They'll be looking for me to put up a few more goals than I did last year," Schultz said. "That was the downside of my game last year, not contributing more goals.

"I'll need to be a leader on the powerplay, carrying the puck up. We'll have a few young guys playing where Getz and those guys were so it'll be a new look for us this year."

The Hitmen will hold an intrasquad game today at 2 p.m. at the Don Hartman N.E. Sportsplex.


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