After meeting with his Newport representatives in Toronto, unrestricted free agent Justin Schultz is ready to talk to a shortlist of NHL teams bidding for his services.
And the young defenceman has narrowed down his list of suitors to the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers plan to include Taylor Hall on part of the pitch to bring Schultz aboard, according to TSN's Ryan Rishaug. Coming off the selection of first overall pick Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting, Edmonton is looking to add to a young defensive core.
Beyond the top four of Ryan Whitney, Jeff Petry, Ladislav Smid and Nick Schultz, there is the potential for Schultz to find a home on the Oilers blueline to start next season. Besides the Oilers, Schultz has been linked with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have one of Schultz's former teammates Jake Gardiner on the roster.
Drafted by Anaheim in the second round in 2008, Schultz did not come to a contract agreement with the Ducks and became an unrestricted free agent following last weekend's NHL Draft. The 22-year-old from Kelowna, BC withdrew from school following the Badgers' 2011-12 season. He led all NCAA defenceman with 16 goals and 44 points and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award for the second straight season.
Schultz is eligible for a two-year deal for the entry-level maximum salary. This includes a $925,000 base salary, including $92,500 signing bonus plus $2.85 million in performance bonuses for a cap hit $3.775 million, according to CapGeek.com.