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Oilers Might Win Again Before Draft

With the third consecutive first overall draft pick, the Oilers will have to take Nail Yakupov because there is no way that they could pass up that talent. What that means is that the Oilers may have just become an even more attractive team to upcoming UFA defenceman Justin Schultz.

Schultz was the second round pick, 43rd overall by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2008 NHL entry draft. Following the draft, Schultz played a final year in the BCJHL and then made the move to the college playing for the University of Wisconsin Badgers.

This year Schultz has 16 goals and 44 points in 37 games and is considered to be the best defenceman in the NCAA.  For whatever reason the stories surrounding Schultz say that he will not be signing with the Ducks before June 1st and will become a UFA and not re-enter the draft.

Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation put together an excellent piece on Schultz earlier this month bringing attention to Schultz’s situation saying:

It won’t become a bidding war because he can only make the maximum base salary of $875,000 on his entry level deal. (He makes the max of the year he was drafted.) Due to his age, he will only be required to sign a two-year entry level deal, not three, and that is why he will want to go to a team where he can play, and hopefully produce, right away.

Gregor also went on to speak with several agents, none representing Schultz, Gregor was advised that Edmonton would be an ideal location. With the Oilers, Schultz would be given the opportunity to play power play time and big minutes, helping him to prove himself and earn that next big contract. By winning the lottery and taking the forward in the first round, the Oilers will still need a defenceman, and Schultz would not be competing against a player like Mat Dumba, Ryan Murray or Griffin Reinhart.

While Schultz is not a proven NHL defenceman, he is more NHL ready than the top defenceman in this year’s draft which may also make him more attractive to the Oilers.

There will be a long list of teams knocking on Schultz’s door should he not sign with the Ducks, the Oilers may be a winner once again.

The Oilers can try to negotiate with the Ducks for the right to speak with Schultz and due to Schultz’s impending UFA status that may not cost much. For the Ducks they would get something for a player that they would lose for nothing otherwise. One thing is clear, this will be an interesting spring for the Oilers.

 

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, | Oil Patch | Permalink
 

Comments

Ducksworth's avatar

Scary to think what this team could be in a few years, so do they keep Yakupov or trade the pick? If they take Yakupov they will be stacked with offensive talent. Either way good for the Oilers and their fans, they must be excited for the future for sure.

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 04/11/12 at 12:42 AM ET

Lisa McRitchie's avatar

I think they keep Yakupov but listen to offers.

It’s funny some Oiler fans will never be happy. Some are really annoyed that the team won the lottery while others are elated. You can’t win.

Posted by Lisa McRitchie on 04/11/12 at 12:56 AM ET

Avatar

They have to keep him if he is as good as everyone is saying.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 04/11/12 at 01:03 AM ET

Lisa McRitchie's avatar

They have to keep him if he is as good as everyone is saying.

And even if he is slightly less than advertised, the ratings are just that high. I’m sure the Oilers scouts have been watching him regularly.

Posted by Lisa McRitchie on 04/11/12 at 01:15 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Schultz would be given the opportunity to play power play time and big minutes, helping him to prove himself and earn that next big contract.

And those are the very reasons that Fabian Brunnstrom chose the Stars over the Wings in 2008. He tried to take a “shortcut” to the NHL – and now he’s playing for the Griffins in the AHL.

Every situation is different, but maybe Schultz should give Fabian a call before he makes his decision. He might well discover that a “shortcut” to the NHL is actually just “shortsighted” in the long run.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/11/12 at 01:33 AM ET

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A great day to be an Oiler fan. . . Unless Bwana Steve receives an absolute ridiculous offer, it has to be the Yak. For all the naysayers that worry about size, let’s have a moment of silence for the braintrust that chose the larger Pouliot over the smaller Parise. (Oh, wait! It’s the SAME braintrust? Well, maybe lightning strikes and they’ve actually learned something, best we can hope for.)

Posted by Bowser from Borneo on 04/11/12 at 02:00 AM ET

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Schultz would be an excellent get. And I haven’t a clue about the logic of “Older than Chelios.” If Schultz wasn’t able to stick with the Oilers, there’d always be OK. Good coaching, good development, and lots of young kids too.

Posted by Weasel Wellwood from Walla Walla on 04/11/12 at 02:04 AM ET

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Not to burst your bubble Lisa, but Justin Schultz was a lifelong Canuck fan, his family are all Canuck fans, and there have been numerous “insider” comments and educated summations that the first and main team the kid wants to play for is the Blue and Green.

Sorry about that….

Posted by Vancitydan on 04/11/12 at 05:26 AM ET

Lisa McRitchie's avatar

Not to burst your bubble Lisa, but Justin Schultz was a lifelong Canuck fan, his family are all Canuck fans, and there have been numerous “insider” comments and educated summations that the first and main team the kid wants to play for is the Blue and Green.

Sorry about that….

I’ve heard that, but stranger things have happened. I’m certainly not counting on Schultz signing with the Oilers, I just see it as a possibility. There is always a chance that he could make the move to the Canucks after getting in some NHL games too right?

Posted by Lisa McRitchie on 04/11/12 at 10:49 AM ET

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Not too burst your bubble Vancitydan, but he listed Edmonton as his favorite city to visit.

He would have the best chance to play right away with top minutes in Edmonton, as he’s exactly what we need. Imagine a PP unit of Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov and Schultz! After playing with the talent in Edmonton for a couple of years, he may choose to stay or go elsewhere as his ELC will be done. He’d probably be able to command a decent raise by that point if things go well.

Edmonton would be the best destination for him, hands down. It’s still close enough to home, and it’d be a great environment for him to excel and grow in (with all of the other young talent). smile

Posted by Booya42 from Edmonton on 04/11/12 at 02:28 PM ET

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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.

Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.

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