Despite speculation that Justin Schultz is leaning towards signing with a western Canadian team, TSN is reporting the highly touted 21-year-old defenseman has shortlisted five clubs – the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and Ottawa Senators.
We’ll still consider Edmonton and Vancouver the favorites. The former offers the chance to develop with the likes of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov, plus the opportunity to step into a top-four role. The latter has the home province advantage (Schultz is from Kelowna, BC).
The Rangers’ inclusion on Schultz’s shortlist is notable in that they’re the lone American team. And at the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, it’s also worth wondering if signing Schultz would give Glen Sather more freedom to acquire Rick Nash from Columbus. The Blue Jackets were reportedly interested in Michael Del Zotto and/or Ryan McDonagh; with another young defenseman in the mix, giving up one of those guys gets easier.