Steve Zipay tweets that he hears the Rangers could be the team that Justin Schultz picks this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Andy Strickland, who last year was the first to report that Brad Richards had picked the Rangers and that Artem Anisimov had signed a new contract, tweets that Ottawa and Edmonton are the final two teams for Schultz.
Strickland notes that a third team is also in the mix
Bob McKenzie of TSN tweets that free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz will make a decision sometime tomorrow where he’s signing on July 1.
The New York Rangers are believed to be on the short list of teams Schultz is interested in playing for that include Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Minnesota. New York made their presentation to Schultz’s camp yesterday in Toronto.
According to Larry Brooks in the NY Post, John Tortorella was part of the Rangers contingent that was giving their pitch to Justin Schultz yesterday.
Tortorella reportedly stressed the Rangers penchant for putting young players into prominent roles right out of college.
McDonagh was a teammate of Schultz’s for one season at Wisconsin.
Adam Rotter: The Rangers sent their best team to recruit Schultz and maybe it was enough to sway him. All reports seem to indicate that he wants to play in Canada, but the Rangers present such an interesting opportunity for him, to be with two former teammates, one in McDonagh who was in the same situation, and play a big role on a cup contending team. It isn’t home, like Vancouver is, but it’s a big opportunity for him.
At ESPN Insider, Craig Custance spoke with Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves about defenseman Justin Schultz and not just what kind of player he is, but the kind of person he is.
Eaves says, “He’s pretty grounded and he’s listening to the advice of his group and doing things by the letter. You don’t hear things from Justin. He’s keeping things close to his chest. He’ll go wherever he goes and he’ll be the hardest-working guy there.”
Eaves adds, “He’s competitive as hell and probably one of the hardest workers on the team.”
On the kind of player that Schultz is, Custance spoke to a scout who said, “This guy can shoot the puck. This is a guy who can walk the blue line on the power play with his head up all the time. He can fire wrist shots, he can pick holes. He can one-time it, but you’ll see him score more goals on a wrister through screens. Every game I saw this kid play the last two years, I left going ‘This kid is going to play.’ He’s a top-four guy, probably top three with power-play ability. He can step in the NHL next year and play. He’s going to run a power play.”
At the Toronto Star, Damien Cox writes that while talented Justin Schultz could be the latest in a long line of young, hyped UFA’s that many teams are interested in.
He says that Adam Oates is an example of a player who signed as a UFA and became a star, but also mentions the cases of Mats Zuccarello, Matt Gilroy, Mike Van Ryn and Fabian Brunnstrom as player who were expected to be stars after signing.
Comparing Schultz to the last right handed FA shooting defenseman the Rangers signed out of college, Matt Gilroy, Cox says “Schultz turns 22 next month. Gilroy was 24 coming out of Boston University as a similarly sized, right-hand shooting defenceman with offensive abilities, and hyped just as much or more. He only spent five games in the minors, but has since been traded twice, with both the Rangers and Lightning deciding fairly quickly they could do better. The Leafs were after Gilroy hot and heavy back then, too, but the Rangers got him because they were willing to offer guarantees Toronto would not.”
Why Justin Schultz isn’t likely to be Fabian Brunnstrom, part deux: Brunnstrom was a late-blooming wild card with no real track record.