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Shuffle Up: Justin Schultz, the real deal

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Hey 19, rated rookie (USAT)

Today's Shuffle Up comes to you from the blue line; it's defensemen only, amigos. Goalies dropped last week, forwards arrive next week. If you have an issue with this schedule, please consult with Carl Racki in customer service.

The ranking below is the way I'd attack the position if facing a new draft right this second. What's already happened is an audition, not a mandate. Consider basic Yahoo! league scoring parameters (goals, assists, power-play points, PIMs, shots on goal) as you navigate along.

Your respectful disagreement is welcome, as always. Win the debate, win the rank. I'll add some commentary later in the day. Game on.

1. Erik Karlsson
2. Kris Letang
3. Alex Pietrangelo
4. Zdeno Chara
5. Alexander Edler
6. Kevin Shattenkirk
7. Dustin Byfuglien
8. Tobias Enstrom
9. Andrei Markov
10. Duncan Keith

I know you can't blame it all on one guy, but just once I'd like to see the Boston power play (with Chara on the first unit) do something of note. It's been 23rd, 20th and 14th the last three years, and this season it's dead last (three piddly goals on the man advantage). … It's a shame Enstrom doesn't have a heavier shot, but he's among the smartest puck movers in the game. And when the Jets want a blast from the point, they can always look to Byfuglien on the other flank.

11. Drew Doughty
12. Dan Boyle
13. Justin Schultz
14. Brian Campbell
15. Mark Streit
16. Shea Weber
17. Keith Yandle
18. Oliver Ekman-Larsson
19. Mike Green
20. Sergei Gonchar

The Oilers already had a terrific power play into the season, but Schultz has fit like a glove, showing excellent instincts and an accurate, heavy shot. He ranks third at the position in power-play goals, and he's second in shots (albeit it's a distant second; Karlsson is running away with that category). … If Weber is this ineffective through the next mini-segment, okay, we'll talk about an adjustment. I can't push him outside the Top 20 yet. Too much back class. … There are plenty of things wrong with the Capitals through 11 games, but Green's play isn't the problem (2-4-6, 28 shots). Looks like we can write off last year's nightmare to injury issues.

21. Kimmo Timonen
22. Dion Phaneuf
23. Niklas Kronwall
24. Michael Del Zotto
25. Ryan Suter
26. P.K. Subban
27. Sheldon Souray
28. Brent Seabrook
29. Dan Hamhuis
30. Victor Hedman

Kronwall is never going to be the superstar some projected a few years back, but he's getting quality time on the power play and he's also a sneaky source of penalty minutes. Unfortunately you won't get a plus-20 rating just for showing up in Detroit these days; Kronwall currently is minus-3.

31. Alex Goligoski
32. Dennis Wideman
33. Christian Ehrhoff
34. Nick Leddy
35. Sami Salo
36. Jason Garrison
37. Kevin Bieksa
38. Lubomir Visnovsky
39. Marek Zidlicky
40. Jack Johnson
41. Matt Carle
42. Raphael Diaz

As much as Diaz has impressed me with his puck-moving skills, the Subban signing hurts him more than anyone else in Montreal. … Visnovsky is a difficult guy to peg with respect to incentive and emotions, but it's never been a question about his offensive abilities. Even if he's merely a specialist on the Island, he can help New York (and us).

43. Justin Faulk
44. John Carlson
45. Ryan Whitney
46. Joni Pitkanen
47. Travis Hamonic
48. Fedor Tyutin
49. Ryan Ellis
50. Slava Voynov
51. Dougie Hamilton
52. Paul Martin
53. Marc-Edouard Vlasic
54. Cam Fowler
55. Tom Gilbert
56. Brent Burns
57. Mike Kostka
58. Mark Giordano
59. Cody Franson
60. James Wisniewski
61. Dan Girardi
62. Jason Demers
63. Ian White
64. Marc Staal
65. Jamie McBain
66. John-Michael Liles
67. Johnny Boychuk
68. Jordan Leopold
69. Paul Postma
70. Stephane Robidas
71. Tyler Myers
72. Andy Greene
73. Derek Morris
74. Jay Bouwmeester
75. Brenden Dillon
76. Dmitry Kulikov
77. Brad Stuart
78. Erik Johnson
79. Eric Brewer
80. Matt Carkner
81. Matt Niskanen
82. Simon Despres
83. Ryan McDonagh
84. Brendan Smith
85. Joe Corvo

Wait a minute, healthy scratches aren't a category. Okay, scratch Corvo off the list.

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