The Edmonton Oilers traded defenseman Justin Schultz to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a third-round pick in 2016. The Oilers also retain half of Schultz’s remaining salary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the second deal of the day for Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli. Earlier today, he traded winger Teddy Purcell to Florida and last night shipped goalie Anders Nilsson to the St. Louis Blues.
I doubt anyone’s surprised Schultz was traded. After struggling to prove himself as a top-four defenseman, his confidence was shot and he had no future in Edmonton.Indeed, his stock declined so much the Oilers were fortunate to get a third-round pick for him.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford obviously hopes the 25-year-old will regain his confidence playing on a deeper defense corps. It’s an affordable gamble for the Penguins, who were in need of an experienced blueliner after losing Ben Lovejoy to injury.
It’ll be interesting to see how much Schultz improves in Pittsburgh. While a restricted free agent this summer, he’s still playing for a new contract. Should his struggles continue, the Penguins could opt not to qualify his rights and let him depart via free agency.