Maine Hockey Journal

Evan Schultz is refining his game

Rochester, NY – Four goals in six games at the USA Hockey National Select 16 Tournament held last month in Rochester, NY isn’t too shabby. For Evan Schultz, who played for the Portland Junior Pirates last season, being good just isn’t good enough.

“I would’ve liked to do a little better, but I had a real good time,” Schultz said, who ended up with five points in Rochester.

The 16-year old Durham, New Hampshire native was one of four players with Maine ties to play in the National Select 16 Tournament. The other three were Lewiston native Connor Anthoine, Greely freshman standout Brian Hart, and 2011 Maine goalie recruit Matt McNeely.

USA Hockey - 360x179 Schultz, who led the Junior Pirates last season with 61 points including 28 goals, said playing against the best was unbelievable, but an eye opening experience for him.

“It’s definitely a great feeling,” he added. “At the same time, going there and seeing all those unbelievable kids, I know there are still plenty of things to work on and you can never be good enough.”

The 5-8 forward also learned he can’t turn his game on and off with one flick of the switch.

“I learned plenty of new lessons,” Schultz said, One being the fact that you have to bring it every game.”

“If you take one shift off or make one mistake. That’s an opportunity for the other team to capitalize.”

He believes the Junior Pirates’ organization played a factor getting him to the Select 16 tournament.

“(Junior) Pirates helped me a lot. Practicing four times a week and playing all those games were really good for my development.”

The next chapter for Schultz is heading back to the Granite State where he will play in the EJHL (Empire Junior Hockey League, Tier III Junior B) with the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs next season. Unlike other players in his age group, Schultz hasn’t looked into colleges just yet.

“I haven’t officially started looking at colleges or been on any visits,” Schultz mentioned. “A couple of (college) coaches have talked to my coaches. I’ve gotten a couple letters and emails, but nothing serious.”

The weekend after the Select 16 tournament, he was back on the ice at the Junior Chowder Cup, where he had three goals and two assists in five games for the East Coast Selects team. On Saturday, he will suit up for the Monarchs at the Eastern Hockey Summer Showcase.

The College Hockey Recruit Exchange blog ranked Schultz as the 15th best-uncommitted player at the National Festival. They also ranked Brian Hart as the 14th best-uncommitted player. Hart was 13th in scoring at the Select 16 tournament where he had two goals and four assists in six games. Connor Anthoine had two goals and three assists in five games and Matt McNeely led all goaltenders with a 1.00 goals against average and a .967 save percentage.

Notes: Connor Brickley, Maineiacs’ 2009 11th round draft pick, was named to Team USA’s roster for the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He was third in scoring with three goals and six assists in five games at the Select 17 tournament, also held in Rochester, New York. Austin Watson, a former 2010 Maine recruit before signing with the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, was also part of the team.

Kennebunk native Brian Billet, took part in the Select 17 tournament, wasn’t selected for the Ivan Hlinka Tournament. Last year, Brian Dumoulin represented the United States at the tournament, which is held in Slovakia and Czech Republic each year.

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