NY Islanders select D Zachary Schulz in 6th round with No. 177 Pick

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

With the 17th pick in the 6th round (177 overall) of the 2023 NHL Draft, the New York Islanders selected defenseman Zachary Schulz from the U.S. National Under-18 Team. He’s committed to play for the University of Wisconsin for the 2023-24 season.

Ranked 96th by NHL Central Scouting, Schulz is the type of defenseman that’s cut from the Islander-mold. He’s the kind of player who knows his role, and plays an all around safe and tight-checking defensive game. Along with that, he’s a born leader. During the U18 World Junior Championships, Schulz was the captain of a team that had four first rounders this draft (as well as Isles second rounder Danny Nelson). 

One word that perfectly describes Schulz: calculating. The 6’ 0 200 pound d-man knows when or when not to jump in on the rush. Not only that, but he has an incredibly active stick, poking pucks away the second he notices an opening. Should he ever become a full-time NHLer, Islander fans will learn to love his game, just as they have with Adam Pelech. He plays a much similar game, making heady plays, and recognizes when to take a risk.

Looking at his numbers, clearly offense is not a priority for him. He won’t dazzle you, but he is a legitimate puck carrier, with thoughtful pinches. Schulz is hardly a liability, though his skating does need some work. You see flashes of what his skating could be in his defensive stride, but moving forward he is a bit slow. 

Zachary Schulz
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Zachary Schulz is a quality pick for a mid-sixth rounder, but don’t expect to see him rise in the organization any time soon. He’s very much a long term prospect, and will need to spend a few years in school before he can touch the pros.