Considering the devolving play of once highly-touted defensive prospect Justin Schultz, it was basically a foregone conclusion that he would be dealt heading into this year’s trade deadline, and that deal finally materialized with the Pittsburgh Penguins acquiring Schultz in exchange for a 2016 third-round draft pick.
According to ESPN, the Oilers will also retain 50 percent of Schultz’s salary, bringing his cap charge in Pittsburgh to $1.95 million.
“We were trying to add some depth to our defense and we’re very pleased to add (Schultz),” said Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford said. “We’re hoping that a change of scenery will be good.
“He’s very good on the offensive side,” Rutherford added. “He still needs some work on the defensive side.”
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2008, Schults declined a contract offer from the team and opted to sign with Edmonton instead. High expectations followed the signing, posting 27 points in 48 games during his rookie year in 2012-13. However, his play hasn’t matured the way Edmonton imagined, eventually leading to Schultz being an expandable asset at this year’s deadline.
For his part, Schultz is hoping that a change of scenery will lead to bigger and better things.
“I knew (a trade) was coming the last three, four days. It was just a waiting game,” Schultz told the Penguins’ official website. “I’m just glad to have it over with and know where I’m going. Now that I know it is Pittsburgh, I couldn’t be more excited. It’s a fresh start. I can’t wait to get down there.”
In three-plus seasons with Edmonton, Schultz has 28 goals and 101 points in 248 regular-season games.