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Schultz readies for first game in Anaheim since ditching Ducks

Apr 8, 2013, 8:03 AM EDT

Justin Schultz #19 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion on January 31, 2013 in San Jose, California.
(January 30, 2013 - Source: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

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.

  1. hockeywithdrawal - Apr 8, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Hopefully they’ll cut him some slack. Who knows if he’d have anywhere near the ice time he has in Edmonton if he went to Anaheim…

    Who wants to play hockey in May and June, anyway?

  2. 19to77 - Apr 8, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    The Ducks are second in the West while the Oilers are scrapping over the bottom seeds. Good call, Schultz – abandon the team after one bad season. Because that worked out so well for Alex Kovalev.

  3. kingsforever - Apr 8, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    If Sheldon souray murders him into the boards that would be great

    • ggreen3 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:08 PM

      Or Getzy or how about Etem running the overrated prima donna!

  4. socalavsfan - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Was at the ducks game last night. They brought up the fact that he and the oilers were coming tomorrow. The PA guy paused after his name every time and the boos were thick and loud. He’s gonna get it tonight

    • hockeydon10 - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      I’ve always had this suspicion this crap was heavily generated by the press. I understand there being some disappointment by fans, but there are far more 2nd round players that end up busts than those that make meaningful contributions to their team. This comment about the PA guy just confirms it.

      And besides, you Anaheim locals can always point out your winter weather compared to Edmonton’s. :)

  5. joelwrobinson - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Anaheim doesn’t even know what hockey is.

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