The Washington Capitals have signed free agent defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year contract according to Darren Dreger of TSN. This contract carries him through the 2021-22 season. The deal carries a cap hit of four million dollars per season. Which makes it an eight million total.
Hearing Justin Schultz has agreed to a 2 year deal with the Capitals.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 9, 2020
Justin Schultz Signs
Over his eight-year NHL career, Schultz has played for the Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins. He has put up 50 goals and 164 assists for 214 career points in 482 career games. He was originally drafted in the second round, 43rd overall of the 2008 NHL draft by the Anaheim Ducks.
Last season he scored three goals and nine assists for 12 points. Also, his possession numbers were 54.7 Corsi For Percentage in all situations, and his Relative Corsi was at 4.1
What This Means for the Future
Schultz is a two-time Stanley Cup winner that adds winning experience to the Capitals blueline. Although he is not considered a top-pairing defenceman, he is capable of playing regular minutes in a middle-or-bottom pairing role. Schultz also adds an element of mobility and offence. In 2016-17 with the Penguins, he had a career-high 12 goals and 51 points, including 20 points on the powerplay.
Having Schultz in the lineup gives the Capitals another reliable option on the powerplay as well. When needed, he can be plugged in as a powerplay specialist to help quarterback the Capitals’ second powerplay. It remains to be seen if Schultz will become a long term fit. At only 30 years old, he is not that old and his upside might be a bit limited. However, his winning experience, skill, and skating ability should make him a serviceable NHL player for a few more years. This deal is only for two seasons anyways. So, if it isn’t a great fit both sides can walk away.
Given this new opportunity, Schultz might be able to revitalize his NHL career in 2020-21. If he is able to become a 30-40 point defenseman this season, this could turn out to be one of the more underrated free-agent signings in the NHL this off-season.