Saturday, June 30, 2012
Oilers add more young talent with Schultz
By Pierre LeBrun
The Edmonton Oilers have won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes.
The club announced it agreed to terms with Schultz via its Twitter account.
Schultz, who turns 22 on Friday, was a star defenseman at the University of Wisconsin. Through a loophole in the current system, he became an unrestricted free agent after being originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks.
A native of Kelowna, British Columbia, Schultz was believed to want to stay in his home country. Since he had to sign an entry-level deal to begin his NHL career, the pitch from teams was likely more about fit than money. Schultz will help fill the Oilers desperate need for defensive help, while adding to their collection of awesome, young talent up front.
The Oilers had the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft the past three years, selecting Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and Nail Yakupov (2012).
Some 20-plus NHL teams showed interest in the blueliner and with the help of agents Wade Arnott and Don Meehan of Newport Sports, Schultz pared his short list down Wednesday to six or seven teams and heard pitches from them Thursday and Friday.
Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Minnesota and the New York Rangers made the short list and made pitches to Schultz, sources confirmed.