Rick Shultz – Athlete & Builder
Rick Shultz was a staple as a player, coach and sponsor in both hockey and fastball for decades in Prince Albert and is inducted as both an Athlete and Builder into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame. As an athlete Shultz held integral positions of goaltender in hockey and catcher in fastball. As a builder he was a successful coach, influential sponsor and administrator in a leading role.
Shultz was born and raised in Prince Albert and played his minor sports with the Parkland Bruins in the West Flat. As a 16 year-old, Shultz played goal for the Junior B Knights in 1973-74. The following year he would debut for the Prince Albert Raiders of the SAJHL leading them to a Northern Division title. After playing the following season with the Swift Current Broncos he returned to his home town to finish a stellar SAJHL career with the Raiders. In 1977-78 Shultz was named the top goalie in the league All-Star game. The culmination of his career was the SAJHL championship for the Raiders where he was named top playoff goalie. The Raiders would eventually lose in the Centennial Cup Championship to the Guelph Platers.
Other notable milestones for Shultz in hockey include suiting up against the Japanese National team (1975), stints with the Kelowna Buckaroos (BCJHL) and New Westminster Bruins (WHL) as well as receiving a scholarship to the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. However, Shultz only attended one year, to return to PA and marry the love of his life, Louise.
In fastball, Shultz would team up with pitcher Felix Casavant to make a powerful and intimidating battery! They would compete at many different levels from house league to Provincial, National and International competitions. Shultz won Rookie of the Year in the Men’s Sportsman Fastball League in 1976 to begin an astonishing 41 year career in the league! He was known as the best drag bunter around and sometimes had the bruises to prove it. Shultz claims he was never put out by legend pitcher Gene McWillie.
With a family of two boys and one girl, Rick Shultz knew the importance of having a knowledgeable, dedicated coach, so he became dedicated to coaching. Actually his first round of coaching was as a 19 year-old in 1976. Shultz would coach at least one of his boys each year as they came up through the ranks of the East End Rangers. Even after both outgrew minor hockey and moved elsewhere, Schultz remained involved in coaching including assisting the Canadian Tire Devils (2004-5) and Lite-Way Electric Thunder (Midget AA 2006-11) with good friend and fellow softball player Kim Dryka. Twice they won the Centre Four League title. Shultz also was highly involved coaching his sons (with Dryka again) in fastball.
Shultz developed a successful business in the city, Lite-Way Electric. He knew the importance of having resources for minor teams, so he has been involved in sponsoring minor teams in PA since 1980. Some of his teams include: the Lite-Way Electric Thunder, Lightning, Storm, Cyclones and Tornadoes in hockey and the A’s and Blue Jay’s in Sportsman League Fastball.
He would parlay his knowledge of hockey, skill as a businessman and community leader into being named the Chairman of the Board of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League which he continues to hold to this day. He was inducted into the SJHL Hall of Fame for his dedication in 2014. Shultz also received the “President’s Award of Merit” from Prince Albert Minor Hockey in 2017 for his years as a coach and sponsor.