Not only a two-time Stanley Cup Champion, but one of two Pittsburgh Penguins ran out of their former cities for not being good enough.
The other of course, Phil Kessel.
Looking back, I’m sure I can’t be the only one who regrets the “Jultz” era in Edmonton.
After all, the hype surrounding Schultz was incredible coming out of college. Nearly every NHL team was lining up to sign the former Wisconsin Badger, who racked up 113 points in 121 NCAA games.
Offensively, Schultz was a decent producer. In 248 games with the Oilers he put up 101 points.
Outside of that many feel that his time in Edmonton was a waste. He seemingly never was able to adapt to the defensive side of the game in Edmonton and often found himself struggling to get into position.
Oilers fans, like they sometimes do, bombarded the young man. Fans made up the term “Jultzing” in reference to the blunders he would often have. Tripping over his own feet and completely missing assignments wasn’t uncommon for Schultz.
Take a quick search on twitter and you can see the harassment that still goes on today.
The fact that then GM Craig MacTavish proclaimed to the world that the defenseman “has Norris Trophy potential” certainly didn’t help the fact. He had all the tools, but just never seemed to put it together in the Oilers threads.
None the less, I am one who feel that Schultz was often put in over his head. The Oilers played him an average of 22:09 per night, which is above the 19:17 per night he has played in Pittsburgh since.
Since he was traded to the Pens on Feb. 27, 2016, in exchange for a 2016 third-round pick (Filip Berglund), Schultz has seen him break out into the player people thought he would be coming out of college.
Schultz has put up a solid 59 points in 96 regular season games to go along with 17 points in 36 playoff games.
Coming into his own, Schultz became a player the Penguins could rely on and one that provided depth on a blue-line that was battered by seasons end.
To me, Justin Schultz was an example of things that can often be wrong with the Oilers fan base.
Young player comes in with high expectations that he isn’t able to live up to and is further ridiculed into turmoil.
At the end of the day, I wish that Schultz turned out as an Oiler. If he played the way he does now in Pittsburgh, the Oilers would be more than happy with that but that’s not how things went, unfortunately.
Moving forward I wish nothing but the best for him and after all, Justin Schultz is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion.