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Seattle Kraken Sign Veteran Defender to Contract

NHL Free Agency

Justin Schultz signs a deal with the Seattle Kraken. This now fortifies the defence of the Kraken. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the defender has signed a two-year deal around $3 million per season.

Justin Schultz Signs for Seattle

Schultz finished up a two-year, $4 million per season deal with the Washington Capitals in 2021-22. He did a decent job in a third-pair with fellow veteran Trevor van Riemsdyk and almost 17 minutes per game. In that time he scored four goals and 23 total points, so he knows which end of the stick to hold. He also spent time on the power-play, scoring twice with three assists.

The 17 minutes in ice time he played in 2021-22 is a career-low, but that’s not entirely a surprise given his age. He still contributed in the Capitals’ playoff series with a goal and three points in six games.

What to Expect

Schultz starts the 2022-23 season at 32 years old, so expectations should be kept reasonably modest. That being said, any player who has played 600 NHL games fits in the Wily Veteran category. He’s scored 57 goals and 264 points in the regular season, and seven goals and 31 points in 67 playoff games. Those numbers really aren’t bad, especially if a team isn’t relying on him to lead the way.

Schultz isn’t someone to rely on as a shut-down defender, but he does help get the puck out of his zone. There has to be some tolerance for his occasional excursions on the attack. He’s a good choice as a power-play quarterback as well, though maybe not on the first unit anymore. What he can do is surprise opposing teams with a rush out of his own end against weaker forwards.

Justin Schultz remains a useful player in a much-desired position. Whether his team will use him to his full efficiency or not is the challenge.


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