Report: Justin Schultz’s preference is to play in western Canada

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The Red Wings are an organization with a great reputation and an obvious need for defense. However, that wasn’t enough to lure top-tier free agent prospect Justin Schultz to Detroit.

“I was told we are not on his list of teams,” Red Wings GM Ken Holland told the Detroit News. “We expressed our interest to his agent (Don Meehan). They went over all the information today (Wednesday).”

Although Schultz can sign with any team, he’s limited to inking a two-year, entry-level contract. That means his decision will ultimately come down to opportunity and personal preference.

As a British Columbia-native, it looks like Schultz simply wants to play close to home. At this point, the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and Calgary Flames all have an edge for his services.

If his decision comes down to those three teams, he might choose the Oilers because they’ll offer him the best shot of making his NHL debut in October. Schultz will also get to be part of a team that’s making the transition from rebuilding to competing.

At the same time, the Vancouver Canucks are the better team and are closer to home. He might choose them in the hopes of winning the Stanley Cup in the not too distant future with his native province.