Justin Schultz left a lasting impression during his time in the American Hockey League.

The Edmonton Oilers defenceman played just 34 games for the Oklahoma City Barons during the NHL lockout this season, but they were obviously quality outings.

So much so, that on Wednesday, Schultz, 22, was named the AHL’s defenceman of the year. It’s the first time in the 55-year history of the league, a rookie has claimed the Eddie Shore Award as best blue liner.

“It was great for me to be down there with the guys that are up here now,” said Schultz. “It made the adjustment a little easier for me. The award is pretty cool to get, it’s a great league.”

Schultz scored 18 goals and added 30 assists during his time with the Barons, lighting up the league with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in tow.

For a time, Schultz was leading the league in scoring before Eberle caught and then surpassed him.

“Playing with those guys down there made it more comfortable for me to come up here,” Schultz said. “Just being around town and around the locker room with them, I felt comfortable from the start.”