Is Justin Schultz worth the hype?

Updated: June 28, 2012, 12:59 PM ET
By Craig Custance

The backlash was inevitable. Prospect Justin Schultz already upset the Anaheim Ducks' fan base by exercising a loophole that freed him from the franchise that drafted him but never signed him, sending the defenseman to the free-agent market before ever skating in the NHL. On Wednesday evening, word trickled out from the interested teams that Schultz eliminated as he pared his list down to a small number, expected to be in the five- or six-team range heading into the weekend. The next step is meetings with those remaining teams until Schultz picks one. He can officially sign on July 1, although a decision could be made before then.

That leaves one fan base thrilled to get one of the best available free agents on the market, and 29 angry he didn't pick them.

Schultz hasn't searched out the spotlight through any of this, keeping a low profile as he meticulously considers one of the most important decisions in his life. But still, the questions are starting to pop up. Is this process driven by ego? Is he worth this much hype? What kind of kid are teams getting in Justin Schultz?

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