EDMONTON - With two holes left to play, Minnesota on Friday and Vancouver Saturday, Edmonton defenceman Justin Schultz is in the running for the NHL’s Green Jacket.
Out of 828 players, the Oilers rookie has the 824th worst plus-minus in the league. He’s at 19-under, three shots off the lead held by Florida’s Erik Gudbranson (-22). Teammate Nick Schultz is -15, making the Schultz-Schultz tandem a whopping -34 combined.
“It’s been a tough season for a lot of us,” said Justin, who’s finding the transition to the big league much more difficult than many had hoped. “It’s not like the AHL or college, where you can afford to make a mistake and guys won’t capitalize. Here, you make a mistake and they’re going to put it in the back of your net.”
It can be argued that plus-minus, and all advanced stats, are only 20% reflective of a player’s ability (given that there are five other teammates on the ice impacting every play), but seeing a big, blinking -19 next to your name is kind of embarrassing.