“Blue-chip” prospect Justin Schultz ready to sign NHL contract – but probably not with the Ducks

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The Justin Schultz sweepstakes looks like it’s about to heat up.

Bob McKenzie reports that Schultz “de-registered” from the University of Wisconsin, which makes him eligible to sign an entry-level contract. The Anaheim Ducks drafted him in the second round in 2008, but all that gives them is a 30-day window to sign the hot prospect. McKenzie indicates that Schultz won’t sign with Anaheim, which means that the Ducks might be best served to trade his rights to a team with a chance to nab him.

It might be a while before we hear anything concrete about an actual signing, however, as he won’t be able to ink a deal until free agency officially begins on July 1.

In the mean time, fans of defense-needy teams can feel free to daydream about adding the WCHA defenseman of the year to their mix. McKenzie argues that Schultz might be the most desirable UFA behind Ryan Suter and Zach Parise this summer.