Justin Schultz
Justin Schultz
31-Year-Old DefensemanD
Washington Capitals
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Schultz was sidelined for large stretches of a season due to injuries for a second straight year in 2019-20, and he wasn't great when healthy, either, finishing the campaign with just 12 points, six of which came on the power play, in 46 games with the Penguins. Schultz signed a two-year contract with the Capitals in October, and he's expected to skate on the team's second pairing and second power-play unit in 2020-21. While that's an intriguing assignment, Schultz is almost guaranteed to miss at least a portion of the upcoming season with an injury, and he hasn't exactly been lighting it up from an offensive standpoint over the past three campaigns when healthy. He'll still be worth a look as a late-round flier due to his offensive potential, but fantasy managers shouldn't view Schultz as anything more than a bench option with decent upside heading into this year's drafts. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Capitals in October of 2020.
Back in Saturday
DWashington Capitals
May 8, 2021
Schultz (lower body) will return to the lineup Saturday against the Flyers, Samantha Pell of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
Schultz will return while Nicklas Backstrom (lower body) and John Carlson (lower body) sit out. The cap-strapped Capitals will roll with 11 forwards and six defensemen for this one.
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NHL Stats
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2020 NHL Game Log
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    19:01
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    1:39
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:04
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2018–19
20:30
2:24
0:08
2019–20
19:53
2:45
0:10
2020–21
19:01
1:39
0:04
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Capitals Power Play Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Justin Schultz
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Unless the Penguins can lock Schultz down to a long-term deal, his name will continue to be bandied about in trade rumors and speculation. The offensively-gifted blueliner is slated to be an unrestricted free agent following the 2019-20 campaign, and would fetch decent value at the trade deadline despite playing in just 29 games last year due to a leg injury. Pittsburgh gave up a league-leading 15 shorthanded goals in 2018-19, so coach Mike Sullivan could decide to deploy the 29-year-old with the No. 1 power-play unit this season, supplanting Kris Letang. Regardless of which unit he's placed on, Schultz will be a factor with the man advantage this year. If he's able to stay healthy, the University of Wisconsin product will have 40-point upside this campaign,making him a solid No. 3 fantasy option in most formats.
Schultz was unable to replicate his phenomenal 2016-17 campaign -- which consisted of 51 points in 78 regular-season games -- but the mobile blueliner still had a solid sixth year based on his 0.43 points-per-game output. He will likely see an uptick in ice time in 2018-19, as the team looks at ways to manage Kris Letang's workload. Toward the end of last season, the coaching staff placed Schultz on the top power-play unit and may continue to utilize him in that role this year. Fantasy owners shouldn't bank on Schultz hitting the 50-point threshold again, but him falling in the 30-40 range certainly isn't out of the question.
In his first full season in Pittsburgh, Schultz exploded for career highs in goals (12), assists (39) and power-play points (20). With numbers like those, it's easy to see why team brass granted him a three-year, $16.5 million contract extension this offseason. The biggest question facing the mobile blueliner is how he'll be utilized on the power play with Kris Letang targeting an Opening Night return from neck surgery. Traditionally, coach Mike Sullivan has utilized just one defenseman on the first unit, which may press Schultz into the secondary group. Without the benefit of lining up with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the 27-year-old is at risk of watching his offensive production come spiraling back to earth. However, Letang’s constant battle with the injury bug is worth monitoring throughout the season, as it’s clear how good Schultz can be with an expanded role -- not just on the power play, but also at even strength. That said, owners shouldn't pay up with the expectation of another 50-point campaign, but 40-plus does seem realistic.
Schultz was not given a qualifying offer by the Penguins due to cost constraints, yet the team ended up re-signing him to an affordable one-year deal worth $1.4 million. He played a lot better after moving away from the spotlight in Edmonton, and with less pressure and more structure to work with, Schultz bagged eight points in 18 games with the Penguins in the regular season of 2015-16, including a plus-7 rating after being one of the league’s worst plus-minus players in previous years. As a second power-play option, Schultz has some upside with the talent around him, but he’s still got a lot to prove before he’s considered a top-four defenseman.
Schultz clearly has talent. But he has really struggled the last two seasons -- he just isn’t the guy (yet anyway) to carry the blue line of an NHL team. The addition of Andrej Sekera should take off some of the pressure, but it’s do-or-die time for Schultz. He’s on a one-year deal and will be either a foundational piece for the Oilers or begging another team to take him in next summer. New coach Todd McLellan will bring structure to the Oilers, and there’s hope he can finally bring out the best in Schultz. If that ends up happening, expect Schultz to hold down a role on the top power-play unit and come through with a career year.
Schultz was a bit of a disappointment for the Oilers last season, but that came as no surprise -- the grind of an 82-game schedule drained the poor guy. He struggled alongside Andrew Ference last season, so watch for the team to try him with Nikita Nikitin both at even-strength and on the top power-play unit. And with the Oilers' wealth of offensive talent, Schultz is sure to put up points. While he's a risk as your top defender, Schultz has a decent shot at delivering top-30 numbers.
Schultz was a gift from above last season for Edmonton. He signed with the Oilers after being unable to come to an agreement with the Ducks and immediately provided the team with an offensive presence on the blue line that they hadn't seen since Paul Coffey. Now, he did admit he hit the wall at midseason, but that will change this year now that he knows what it's like to play in the NHL. And one has to think his second season could produce 12 to 15 goals and as many as 50 points. Sweet.
The Oilers may have drafted Nail Yakupov with the top pick in the 2012 Entry Draft, but signing Justin Schultz must have felt like they hit the lottery again. Schultz was considered by most to be the best free agent defenseman after Ryan Suter and his signing with Edmonton was a blessing for the team. He is a big, puck-moving blueliner who will be given every shot to make the team out of training camp and is their cornerstone defenseman of the future.
Schultz will return to Wisconsin for junior year but is already one of the better defense prospects in the game. He's even a darkhorse candidate to win the Hobey Baker Award, though it's frequently difficult for a defenseman to do so.
Schultz is another defenseman who is very offensive-minded. He has the fantastic ability to know when to join the play, but he also needs to focus more on his defensive play in his own zone
More Fantasy News
Questionable for Saturday
DWashington Capitals
Lower Body
May 8, 2021
Schultz (lower body) took part in Saturday's optional skate and is questionable to play against the Flyers, Samantha Pell of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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Remains shelved
DWashington Capitals
Lower Body
May 7, 2021
Schultz (lower body) will not play in Friday's clash with the Flyers, JJ Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports.
ANALYSIS
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Unavailable against New York
DWashington Capitals
Lower Body
May 5, 2021
Schultz (lower body) isn't on the ice for warmups and won't play in Wednesday's game against the Rangers, Samantha Pell of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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Good to go
DWashington Capitals
April 29, 2021
According to coach Peter Laviolette, Schultz (lower body) is "clear and available" ahead of Thursday's matchup with Pittsburgh, JJ Regan of NBC Sports Washington reports.
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Won't play Tuesday
DWashington Capitals
Lower Body
April 27, 2021
Schultz (lower body) was a full participant at Tuesday's morning skate, but he won't be in the lineup for the evening's matchup with the Islanders, Samantha Pell of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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