Well that's that.
The Rangers were informed today they would not acquire the services of University of Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz. The Rangers were believed to be one of the few remaining teams the defenseman would sign a contract with. Reports state it is down to the Ottawa Senators, Vancouver Canucks and the favorite, Edmonton Oilers.
Schultz, who was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2008, finished with 16 goals and 44 points to lead all NCAA defenseman in both categories. He refused to sign a contract with the Ducks, making him a free agent on July 1. All teams could offer him a two-year entry-level contract worth about $3.5 million, so it came down to who Schultz wanted to play for.
Reports stated he would chose a team that would give him a spot on the opening night roster, and would allow him to play major minutes, a tall order from a player who has never played an NHL shift.
The Rangers were believed to be a favorite based on their ability to insert young defeneman quickly into their lineup, as well as the relationship Schultz had with both Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan, whom he played with in college.
In the end, it wasn't in the cards for the Rangers. Although Schultz is believed to be a can't miss prospect, signing him would have created a problem for the Rangers moving forward — though one most teams would like. Tim Erixon is believed to be ready to take the step to being an NHL regular this season, and will probably capture a bottom-two slot. If Michael Sauer is healthy enough to play, he should also fit into the bottom six.
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