The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman Justin Schultz
to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal has an average annual value of $1.4 million.
Schultz, 26, was a key member of Pittsburgh’s defensive core during its 2016 Stanley Cup championship run, contributing four assists and a plus-1 in 15 playoff appearances. He helped set up Brian Dumoulin’s opening goal in the Penguins’ Cup-clinching victory in Game 6.
Pittsburgh acquired the 6-foot-2, 193-pound righthanded-shooting blueliner from Edmonton for a 2016 third-round draft pick on Feb. 27. He went on to tally eight points (1G-7A) and a plus-7 in 18 regular-season contests with the Penguins. His production with Pittsburgh equates to a 36-point pace over 82 games, which would be a career-high total.
The native of Kelowna, British Columbia played his first three-plus years with Edmonton, tallying 28 goals, 73 assists and 101 points in 248 games.
Schultz had his best season with the Oilers in ‘13-14, establishing career highs in goals (11) and points (33) in 74 games.
Schultz was one of the NHL’s top rookies during the shortened ’12-13 season, earning a berth on the NHL All-Rookie Team after scoring eight goals, 19 assists and 27 points while playing all 48 games.
Prior to the NHL resuming play in January 2013, Schultz broke into the professional ranks with Edmonton’s top minor-league affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League. Schultz starred with the Barons, scoring 18 goals, 30 assists and 48 points in just 34 games with Oklahoma City.
Despite playing less than half of that season in the AHL, he won that league’s Eddie Shore Award as the best defenseman, in addition to being named to both the AHL First-Team All-Star and All-Rookie Teams. His goal and point totals led all AHL D-men.
That summer, he represented Canada at the World Championship, where he had four assists in eight games.
Schultz played three years of college hockey at the University of Wisconsin from 2009-12. He was a NCAA All-American and a Hobey Baker Finalist (best college hockey player) in each of his last two years.
Schultz was originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft, but never signed with the Ducks. He instead joined the Oilers as a free agent following his collegiate career.