The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Justin Schultz from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for the Penguins 2016 3rd-round draft pick. Edmonton retains half of his $3.9 million cap hit.
The deal was made official by the Penguins shortly after their 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets that saw goals from Kris Letang, Scott Wilson and two from Carl Hagelin.
Schultz, 25, becomes a restricted free agent (RFA) at season's end. He has accumulated 101 points (28G, 73A) in 248 career games, all played with Edmonton.
The 6'2", 193-pound defenseman was originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks and never suited up for the club. He played his collegiate hockey at the University of Wisconsin from 2009-12 and was a Hobey Baker finalist during his last two seasons. Edmonton pitched the best proposal for the free agent and in 2012, Schultz inked his first NHL contract.
Due to immigration arrangements, the Penguins do not expect to have Schultz join the team until Wednesday or Thursday of this upcoming week.
There it is, folks. General Manager Jim Rutherford did not pull the trigger as quickly as other GM's had earlier in the day, such as Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers and he landed one of his primary targets. I don't really see any downside to this trade on paper, but of course, paper can be deceiving.
If memory serves me correctly, the Penguins were on his short-list of teams he would accept going to when he was going to sign in 2012, but he ultimately chose the Oilers. Well, now, we will get to see the young defenseman in action.
Schultz was almost a necessity at this point. With the injury to Ben Lovejoy, limited trust in Ian Cole and the highly rumored name of Kris Russell of the Calgary Flames flying around, it was apparent the Penguins were going to acquire a defenseman. Did I personally see Justin Schultz coming over? No, but I had always hoped he would make his way to the East Coast.
Of course initial assessment of the trade comes in lightning form because of social media. Did the Penguins steal the deal or shoot themselves in the foot?
If that's not exciting and doesn't light a fire under you, I don't know what will.
I like the deal and think that he could be a great asset. While there are some defensive lapses and a raw mold of what he can be, working alongside Sergei Gonchar and company should help shape Schultz into the defenseman scouts, Anaheim, and Edmonton believed he could be.
Grading the Trade
I work with letters rather than numbers. I give this trade a solid B solely for the fact that it's not overwhelming, lose my mind with excitement, but it's not a complete head-scratcher. I'm optimistic about the deal and hope the best for young Schultz.
Welcome to the Burgh, Justin Schultz!
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#Pensimist Podcast host, writer of many articles. Trade Deadline/Free Agent Frenzy junkie.