By: Nick Lanciani
On Saturday the Edmonton Oilers sent defenseman Justin Schultz to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a third round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Schultz is a 25-year-old pending RFA who has 101 points (28 goals, 73 assists) in 248 career NHL games through three-plus years with Edmonton.
He had his best season in 2013-2014 when he established career highs in goals (11) and points (33) in 74 appearances with the Oilers. The 6’2″, 193-pound blue liner had 3-7-10 totals in 45 games with Edmonton this season.
A native of Kelowna, British Columbia, Schultz was one of the NHL’s top rookies during the lockout shortened 2012-2013 season, earning a spot on the NHL All-Rookie Team after producing 8-19-27 totals after playing in all 48 games. Prior to January 2013, Schultz began his professional play with the Oiler’s American Hockey League affiliate, Oklahoma City Barons (AHL) where he went on to amass 18-30-48 totals in only 34 games with the Barons.
He won the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s best defenseman that season, despite playing in less than half of the games. Schultz was also a member of the AHL First-Team All-Star and All-Rookie Team at the end of that same season.
Schultz has represented Canada at the IIHF World Championship, recording four assists in eight games.
The University of Wisconsin product played all four years of college eligibility (2009-2012) and was a NCAA All-American as well as a Hobey Baker Finalist in each of his last two seasons. Schultz was originally selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, but never signed with Anaheim.
Instead, the young defenseman joined the Oilers as an unrestricted free agent following his collegiate career.
Edmonton retained 50 percent of his remaining salary in the deal.
The Oilers begin their journey without Schultz as a defenseman on Sunday night at home versus the New York Islanders while the Pittsburgh Penguins will likely be joined by Schultz in their lineup on Monday night against the Arizona Coyotes from the CONSOL Energy Center.