Justin Schultz deserved to get paid after the season he just had and did. The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed Schultz to a three-year deal worth $5.5 million per season. Getting him locked up was one of the biggest priorities for the Penguins this off-season as he’s their most important restricted free agent and an important part of their team.
Justin Schultz Re-Signs With Pittsburgh Penguins
Having Justin Schultz stick with the Penguins for three years is huge as he’s the closest thing they have to Kris Letang. Letang gets hurt just about every season and is coming back from major neck surgery so keeping a player that can generate offense from the back-end is key for the Penguins. Schultz had 12 goals and 39 assists for 51 points in his first full season with Pittsburgh this past season and he also finished 10th in Norris voting. He was acquired for a third-round pick during the 2016 trade deadline and the Penguins wanted to see if he could build his stock back up since he struggled so much with the Edmonton Oilers. It’s safe to say that he did that as his 51 points are the most he’s had in a season. His previous high was 33 back in 2013-2014.
Schultz is best suited for a middle pairing role, or if coach Mike Sullivan wants, they can put him in a bottom pairing role like they did for part of this season. He’s also a great power play quarterback and proved that as the Penguins power play didn’t miss a beat when Kris Letang went down with his injury. He’s still a young player in his peak years so his best days are surely not over after signing this contract.
PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 08: Justin Schultz #4 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates after scoring a goal in the first period against the Nashville Predators in Game Five of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final at PPG PAINTS Arena on June 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)