Jimmy Schuldt doesn’t have to look far for motivation to keep playing hockey.
The sophomore-to-be at St. Cloud State just has to look in the stands most of the time. That’s where his brother Joe, sporting Jimmy’s No. 22 jersey, is usually sitting. Joe’s career ended prematurely, concussion and knee issues forcing him to quit hockey after his freshman season at Michigan Tech.
So now Jimmy, in a way, plays for both of them.
“That’s always been my inspiration,” said Schuldt, who participated in the Blackhawks’ prospect camp this week. “If I think I can’t push any further I just think about what he would do to be in my position. It’s really all the motivation I need.”
Jimmy said he and Joe both had physical games, especially when they played together in high school. Jimmy added that his brother also fought a lot in juniors. The concussions, coupled with bad knees, cut Joe’s career short.
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“Obviously it’s a physical game. His knees were bad, too; he had surgery on both knees. The way he played took a toll on him,” Schuldt said. “It’s really rough when someone has to cut their career short because of concussions.”
St. Cloud is about an hour’s drive from Minnetonka, Minn., where Schuldt’s family lives. So Joe goes to all of Jimmy’s games there, as well as when St. Cloud visits Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul. It’s tough that Joe can no longer play hockey but Jimmy plays – and is motivated – by his brother every time he’s on the ice.
“I always looked up to him, always try to play with the same grit he played with,” Schuldt said. “He’s wearing that No. 22 jersey and I always try to spot him in the stands. So it’s cool to see him there.”