The Justin Schultz decision has been made and he has chosen to sign with the Edmonton Oilers, according to the Oilers’ Twitter account and TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Schultz was originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2008 and proceeded to play one more year with the junior Westside Warriors before going to the University of Wisconsin. After this most recent season, his third year, he de-registered from the school at the end of May. This started a 30-day window for the Ducks to make a decision on Schultz–to attempt to sign or trade him. However, the Ducks did not act and so Schultz began shopping around for another team.
Schultz plays defense, which is something Edmonton needs to strengthen as they go through their process of rebuilding. The Oilers also used two of their draft picks this year to select blueliners. Last season with the University of Wisconsin, Schultz had 16 goals and 28 assists–44 points–in 37 games.
While this decision did garner much attention from the hockey world, it is not the first time something like this has happened. Blake Wheeler did something similar after he was originally drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004. He played for the University of Minnesota and, four years after being drafted, still hadn’t come to an agreement with Phoenix. He chose to become an unrestricted free agent instead of signing a maximum entry-level deal with the Coyotes and went on to the Boston Bruins in 2008. Tim Erixon also did something like this. Drafted in 2009 by the Calgary Flames, he refused to sign and was traded to the Rangers last year.