Late-breaking news on free-agency day: the Capitals have signed defender Justin Schultz for two years, as first reported by Darren Dreger.
Schultz will earn $4 million against the salary cap.
Schultz is a decent possession player for a second-pairing role. He plays on the right side, which is badly needed by the left-heavy Caps blue line.
Schultz last played in Pittsburgh, where he skated with Jack Johnson and got the ire of GM Jim Rutherford:
Well, [the defense] could have been better. I know everybody picks on Jack [Johnson] and they have for a long time, but I think, in that pairing, Justin Schultz had a lot more to give.
Micah from HockeyViz doesn’t love the deal.
Justin Schultz (2x4m with Washington) is simply inexplicable to me. pic.twitter.com/wXJaNb0FCt
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) October 9, 2020
With Schultz in, the Caps blue line might look like this:
Dillon – Carlson
Orlov – Schultz
Siegenthaler – Jensen
From the Caps:
The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year, $8 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Schultz’s contract will carry an average annual value of $4 million.
Schultz, 30, recorded 12 points (3g, 9a) in 46 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. The 6’2″, 193-pound defenseman ranked second among Penguins defensemen in power play time on ice per game (2:45) and ranked second in power play assists (6a). Additionally, the Kelowna, B.C., native recorded the second fewest on-ice goals against at five-on-five among Penguins defensemen with at least 40 games last season (33).
Over his five seasons with the Penguins beginning in 2015-16, Schultz’s 113 points (22g, 91a) ranked second among Penguins defensemen, despite ranking fourth in games played (234). Schultz’s best offensive season came in 2016-17, where he set career highs in goals (12g), assists (39a) and points (51p), tying seventh in both goals and points that season among all NHL defensemen.
In 482 career games between the Edmonton Oilers and Penguins, Schultz has 214 points (40g, 164a). Since he entered the NHL in 2012-13, Schultz’s 0.44 points per game is tied for the 35th most among defensemen.
A two-time Stanley Cup champion (2016 and 2017), Schultz has recorded 29 points (6g, 23a) in 56 playoff games. Since making his playoff debut in 2016, Schultz’s 56 games rank 22nd in the NHL among defensemen.
Beginning his career in the 2012-13 season with the Edmonton Oilers, Schultz earned a spot on the NHL All-Rookie team after recording 27 points (8g, 19a) in 48 games.
At the international level, Schultz has represented Team Canada at the 2013 World Championship, recording four assists in eight games.
Schultz played three seasons at the University of Wisconsin from 2009-12, recording 113 points (40g, 73a) in 121 games. He was named as the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, a WCHA First-Team All-Star and a Hobey Baker finalist in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
Schultz was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round, 43rd overall, in the 2008 NHL Draft. Schultz signed as a collegiate free agent with the Oilers on June 29, 2012.
Headline photo: @Capitals
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