Justin Schultz to Penguins: Latest Trade Details, Comments, Reaction

Joe PantornoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2016

Edmonton Oilers' Justin Schultz watches the movement of the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz.  The Coyotes defeated the Oilers 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced they acquired defenseman Justin Schultz for a third-round draft pick in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Edmonton will retain 50 percent of Schultz's salary, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

The acquisition was news to Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, per Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Whether he knew or not, Schultz will be joining a Penguins blue line that is already jammed with a number of defensemen.

He's experiencing a down season in 2015-16. A two-way blueliner, Schultz is on pace for a career low in points after 45 games. He missed 18 games earlier this season after suffering a back injury.

Here's how Schultz stacks up with the current Pittsburgh defensemen:

PlayerGamesGoalsAssistsTOI+/-
Justin Schultz453720:08-22
Kris Letang4993626:19-10
Olli Maatta5361019:36+18
Brian Dumoulin5901218:58+4
Trevor Daley304917:48-5
Derrick Pouliot130414:53-2
Ian Cole470417:48-16

The Penguins also have Ben Lovejoy, who has a plus-nine rating in 31 games. But he suffered a lower-body injury Feb. 20.

With a surplus of defensemen on the team, the move didn't make much sense to the The Hockey News' Matt Larkin:

However, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford told DKonPittsburghSports.com's Josh Yohe that another trade is likely.

The Penguins are clinging on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference as they sit one point ahead of the ninth-place New Jersey Devils.

The team's collection of defensemen could be useful before the Feb. 29 trade deadline. One of them could help acquire another important piece as the Penguins attempt to secure a postseason spot. 

 

Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com.