Schultz makes a big impact at camp

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:31 PM ET

Out with the old Schultz, in with the new.

With four-year Calgary Hitmen veteran Jeff Schultz biding his time until the Washington Capitals open camp in a couple weeks, younger brother Ian appears set to carry on the WHL family tradition.

The younger and grittier of the Schultz siblings had a tremendous rookie camp and will join the rest of the veterans, who take the ice for the first time this morning.

"I came in here with a lot more confidence than I had last year," he said. "I have that extra year under my belt.

"Everything feels good out there."

The rookie hopeful, who suited up with the midget A Blackhawks last season, said it has been helpful having Jeff around.

But he's on his own now.

"I'm trying to make my own name for myself," said the 6-ft. 1-in., 185-pounder. "Some people expect me to be the big playmaker but I'm more of a gritty forward who gets in there and tries to score."

He accomplished that goal on the opening day of rookie camp when he notched a hat-trick and added a pair of helpers in a 6-4 intrasquad victory.

The unexpected scoring prowess didn't go unnoticed by Hitmen GM/head coach Kelly Kisio.

"He's been one of the best guys in camp," Kisio said of the second round pick in from the '05 bantam draft.

"We think he's ready to go and I think he'll be a good player in our league."

Jeff, who tied for the team lead in scoring during the playoffs last spring, has watched his kid brother throughout camp.

"He's a feisty, in-your-face guy but Kelly (Kisio) came up to me and said he didn't realize Ian could score like that," said Jeff.

Selected in the first round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-ft. 6-in., 215-pounder reports to Washington Sept. 13.

"This is probably the biggest opportunity of my life," he said of the potential to crack the rebuilding Caps roster. "They've got five or six guys there but I can see myself as the seventh guy."

Jeff has been to a couple of Capitals camps but this is the first time he has a legitimate shot at making the big club.

"I just can't try to do too much," he said. "It can be frustrating when you're making mistakes. At that level, when you get the puck on your stick, you have to make the pass quick."

TIP-TOP SHAPE:

The Hitmen went through fitness testing yesterday. Top performers in each category were: Bench press (Derek LeBlanc), push ups (Freddie Pettersson), sit ups (Pettersson, Daniel Spence), Max VO2 (Brett Plouffe) and burpees (Pettersson, Spence, Curtis Kelner, Marc Dafoe and Garrett Zemlak).


Videos

Photos