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NHL History: Five years ago today, Edmonton Oilers trade Justin Schultz

It was five years ago today that the Edmonton Oilers traded Justin Schultz marking the end of a tumultuous time.

The Oilers traded him to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a third round pick in 2016 latest used to select defenseman Filip Berglund.

Originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of the 2008 draft, Schultz had took his talents to the NCAA and eventually chose to not sign with the Ducks. Enter the Edmonton Oilers, who were looking for a right-handed defenceman with offensive upside like Schultz for years.

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He came into Edmonton in the lockout shortened 2012-13 season and was nothing short of tremendous for the Oilers, scoring 27 points in 48 games. And while he put up a great deal of offence, his final season not included, and was almost everything the Oilers could ask for in that sense.

He had consecutive 30 point seasons on the backend, and over the course of his 248 games in Edmonton scored 28 goals and 101 points while operating the team’s powerplay.

But while he was strong offensively, Schultz was a tire fire in his own zone as he struggled to adjust to the NHL game. Sure, he was bit by a slightly below average on-ice save percentage, but he struggled in key aspects in defending his own zone.

It lead to heavy criticism from the fan base with him becoming the latest of many scapegoat defenceman in the organizations history.

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Since he left Edmonton, Schultz ended up spending five years in the Penguins organization playing 234 games scoring 113 points — near identical numbers to that of his time in Edmonton. He hit free agency last year and signed with the Washington Capitals where this year he’s played in 15 games scoring eight points.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]