The 24 year old Schultz finished first in points for Oiler defenseman with 33 last season. But even finishing first in points didn’t convince Craig MacTavish to sign Schultz long term. However, Schultz is confident that he can up that tally this season and be able to take on more ice time and responsibility.
This is an excellent signing for the Edmonton Oilers. Justin Schultz is an exceptional two way player that isn’t afraid to take on the elite defenseman in the league like Drew Doughty or Duncan Keith.
He’s got speed, a wicked slap shot and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around. GM MacTavish stated in his press conference after the signing that a long-term deal was discussed but the two sides couldn’t agree on a number. This one year contract will serve as Justin Schultz’s final trial year and gives Justin a chance to prove his worth to the team.
Final Trial Year
I believe this is an extremely smart move by MacTavish. Too many teams have signed young guys to long term contracts only to have them fail miserably a year after the contract is signed. Grabovski and David Clarkson are perfect examples of this in recent years.
There are many others as well. However, the Edmonton Oilers will now be able to narrow down the worth of this player and use this year to evaluate his skills. I believe Justin Schultz is the real deal. If he gets another full season alongside veteran defenseman Andrew Ference, he’ll easily get to 40 points or more this season. He will make mistakes, but I’m confident he’ll be one of Edmonton’s top defenseman moving forward.
This Edmonton Oilers team has built a very young, balanced roster. They have a solid top line in Taylor Hall, Jordon Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Nail Yakupov and David Perron will provide some secondary scoring and Andrew Ference will be the anchor of the Oilers defense.
I believe this Oilers team will be challenging for a playoff spot this season. I can’t wait to see how Justin Schultz and this Oiler’s team will do.
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