Wisconsin All-American junior defenseman Justin Schultz, courted by nearly every team in the NHL during the last week, signed with the Edmonton Oilers as a free agent on Saturday afternoon.
Schultz was a draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, but opted out like UND’s Jason Gregoire did a year earlier. He was able to do so because he was four years removed from his draft year.
Schultz’s signing was writing on the wall for the last month, ever since he withdrew from classes.
The media circus surrounding Schultz’s signing was something that is rarely seen for a player who has yet to play in the NHL. This happened because: A. He’s a prospect everybody wanted. B. He’s a prospect everyone can afford.
Some criticized Schultz for how he handled the whole process, but it wasn’t Schultz going out trying to look for media attention. I don’t think he even did an interview during the whole process.
I thought Bob McKenzie summed it up well on Twitter.
Early signings in the WCHA (10)
North Dakota (1)
Brock Nelson, soph, f, New York Islanders
Colorado College (1)
Jaden Schwartz, soph, f, St. Louis Blues
Drew Shore, jr, f, Florida Panthers
Jason Zucker, soph, f, Minnesota Wild
Beau Bennett, soph, f, Pittsburgh Penguins
J.T. Brown, soph, f, Tampa Bay Lightning
Terry Broadhurst, jr, f, Chicago Blackhawks
St. Cloud State (2)
David Eddy, jr, f, Calgary Flames
Mike Lee, jr, g, Phoenix Coyotes
Justin Schultz, jr, d, Edmonton Oilers