Person of Interest: The 411 on Jimmy Schuldt

Jimmy Schuldt of St. Cloud State. (Photo by Paul Middlestaedt)

It’s no secret the Montreal Canadiens are a bit of a hurting unit on the blue line after the departures of Nathan Beaulieu and Andrei Markov last summer, on top of the P.K. Subban trade from the season before. Montreal’s defence has become a slower unit in an NHL that is getting faster by the season.

They’ve been so needy for a swift-skating defenceman that 19-year-old Victor Mete was a surprise addition to the team out of junior this season.

For the team to move ahead towards its Stanley Cup goals over the next few seasons, they’ll need to focus on getting a younger and faster blue line that can move the puck up the ice with efficiency to create offence. There no doubt will be a few additions made over the next few years to address this need, but one potential target in particular came into the spotlight Wednesday: St. Cloud State defenceman Jimmy Schuldt.

In 31 Thoughts, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman had this to say about Schuldt in his third point:

Apparently, the Canadiens had a contingent see St. Cloud and Denver in a big-time back-to-back last weekend where (Charlie) Lindgren’s alma mater was knocked from its No. 1 ranking. No doubt they were checking on (Ryan) Poehling. But they are taking a long look at another Huskie, defenceman Jimmy Schuldt. They won’t be alone in pursuing this free agent.

A junior at St. Cloud, NHL teams have shown interest in Schuldt before, but he’s always returned to school. A 22-year-old standing six feet and weighing 202 pounds, he is known for his booming shot and offensive upside, but also for his leadership abilities.

Here is a closer look at Schuldt…

AGE: 22
HEIGHT: Six feet
WEIGHT: 202 pounds
FROM: Minnetonka, Minn.
POSITION: Left-shot defenceman


Aside from being a team dripping in history and one that still has hopes of a Stanley Cup run in the near future, the Canadiens may be an enticing landing spot for Schuldt when he leaves school because he’s been recent teammates with a couple other prospects in the organization.

In Schuldt’s freshman year he played with Charlie Lindgren, who of course is taking the Habs crease by storm in lieu of Carey Price and his injury. In the one season Schuldt and Lindgren played together, the goalie was named the NCHC conference’s goalie of the year, while Schuldt scored 26 points in 41 games, the second-most points among defencemen on St. Cloud State.

The 22-year-old Schuldt is also currently playing with Ryan Poehling, who Montreal picked 25th overall at the 2017 NHL Draft. This is the second season in which the two have been teammates and they are now first (Schuldt) and third (Poehling) in team scoring.

Schuldt also was at Canadiens prospect development camp this past July and was a standout player with a booming shot. NHL teams have been interested in him since his freshman season and a few sniffed around his availability this past summer before he decided to return for his junior season.


If you follow college hockey or NHL prospects you’ve probably heard the names Henrik Borgstrom and Dylan Sikura a few times this season. Borgstrom, a Panthers prospect, has become somewhat of a Twitter highlight reel over the past two years with all his incredible goals, while Sikura has jumped on to the map as a potential Team Canada Oympic pick — although an injury that kept him out of the Karjala Cup may derail that possibility.

Those two players, both forwards, are first and third across the entire NCAA in points per game — Schuldt cracks the top 10 in this statistic and is the highest scoring blueliner in college. With a 1.44 PPG average, Schuldt is currently scoring at a rate similar to the 1.45 points per game Clayton Keller averaged as a forward last season.

Already he’s just six points away from equaling the 19 he got as a sophomore last season and is halfway to his career-high production as a freshman. But he says he doesn’t get too tied up in how he’s scoring, because a defenceman’s game is about more than points.

“I think I’ve been pretty good. In my game, I’ve never let points define how I’m playing,” Schuldt told Mick Hatten of the St. Cloud Times. “I can be playing fantastic and have no points. I can be playing sub-par, make a breakout pass and get a point.

“A number that would better define things for me would be plus/minus. If I have a good plus/minus, I’m doing something right. I want to keep that number high and keep blocking shots.”

His plus-10 leads St. Cloud and is second across all of the NCAA.


In that St. Cloud Times article, Judd Peterson, an alternate captain on the team, said he always sees Schuldt in the players’ lounge doing homework, eating, or else he’s on the ice.

“He’s one of the few guys in here who will speak up and speak his mind and kind of get after the team … in a good way. He’s a natural-born leader,” Peterson said.

Schuldt, the St. Cloud captain this season and last, was an honour roll student in high school and was named to the All-NCHC Academic Team the past two years.

On the ice, Schuldt adds to his offensive upside with some grit to his game. He’s the team leader in blocked shots, and has led his St. Cloud team in that category each of the past two seasons as well.


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