Schultz returns to Oilers lineup after eight-game absence

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Edmonton will welcome defenseman Justin Schultz back into the lineup tonight when it hosts the Blue Jackets at Rexall.

Schultz, 23, has been out of action since suffering a groin injury against Toronto on Oct. 29. He’s proceeded to miss the Oilers’ last eight games, during which the club went 2-6-0.

Arguably the club’s top blueliner and a member of the NHL’s 2013 All-Rookie team, Schultz racked up 27 points in 48 games last year and was scoring at a similar clip this season, with 1G-6A through his first 14 games.

This promises to be a very important season for the former Anaheim draftee. Schultz is in the final year of a two-year, $7.55 million deal and will be a RFA in July. He’s projected to be a major part of the Oilers’ blueline moving forward, so it’ll be curious to see how he plays in his first-ever contract year.