Apr 8, 2013, 8:03 AM EDT
Justin Schultz was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and never played a game with that franchise.
Instead Schultz passed on an entry-level contract until he was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. Once that happened, he decided to sign with the Edmonton Oilers.
“I saw an opportunity in Edmonton and I don’t regret that decision,” said Schutz, according to the Edmonton Journal.
Schultz shined in the AHL during the lockout and leads all rookie defensemen with 20 points in 38 games. With that success in mind, he’ll head to the Honda Center for his first game in Anaheim on Monday.
It could be an unpleasant experience for the 22-year-old defenseman.
“We’ll see when game time comes,” he said. “If we had come here first, it would have been tougher, but we’ve played a lot of games, so I think it will be a little easier.
“It was a really tough decision to make. I was drafted here, but again, it was having an opportunity, which you don’t have many times in your career, to choose where you want to play.”
Anaheim has clearly been the better team this season with a 26-8-5 record, but in Edmonton, Schultz participating in what could be the beginning of a dynasty. The Oilers are loaded with young talented players and their future appears bright.
But before that future comes, he might have to endure some booing and a tough battle against a gifted squad.
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