The Washington Capitals have signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year contract that carries a cap hit of $4 million. The team will pay him $3 million in 2020-21 and $5 million the next season.
Hearing Justin Schultz has agreed to a 2 year deal with the Capitals.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 9, 2020
The 30-year-old defenseman recorded three goals, 12 points, and a -13 rating in 46 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. In 482 career games with the Penguins and Edmonton Oilers, Schultz has recorded 50 goals, 214 points, and a -35 rating.
Schultz’s best season came in 2016-17 when he set career-highs in goals (12), assists (39), points (51), and plus-minus (+27) in 78 games. He was limited to just 75 games in the past two seasons due to multiple injuries.
Schultz, who won the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons with the Penguins (2016, 2017), will likely slide in the Capitals’ second defensive pairing with Dmitry Orlov.
In 56 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Schultz has recorded six goals, 29 points, and a +3 rating.
Last season, the defenseman posted a 49.77% Corsi-for percentage, a 50.88% expected goals-for percentage, 36 hits, 50 blocked shots, 18 giveaways, and six takeaways while averaging 19:53 per game (fourth among Penguins’ defenseman), including 2:45 on the power-play (second).
Schultz was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks 43rd overall in the 2008 NHL Draft. Schultz signed as a collegiate free agent with the Oilers on June 29, 2012.
The Capitals made it a priority to add to their defense after they gave up average of 3.44 goals-per-game from December 22 onward (the most among the 24 teams that were invited to the NHL’s return-to-play plan) and allowed an average of 2.88 per game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Capitals now have about $3 million remaining in cap space after signing Schultz, according to CapFriendly. The team is also reportedly looking to add a forward.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) October 9, 2020
By Harrison Brown