The Edmonton Oilers and defenseman Justin Schultz were always confident a deal would get done prior to training camp, and after the announcement that a one-year pact worth a reported $3.675 million had been reached, the 24-year-old declared, "it worked out well."
At the same time, the term of the contract suggests there's work yet to be done before a long-term agreement can be signed.
“I think we are both pretty happy in getting it done, having this drag on," Schultz told 'Inside The Oilers'. "I’m happy with the contract. I obviously have to prove myself more to get a longer term. Hopefully I have a good year this year, the team does better and we’ll get it done."
Schultz recorded 19 goals and 41 assists in 122 career games with the Oilers, with 27 points coming on the man advantage. Question marks remain in regards to the defensive aspect of his game, an area in which he sees improvement dating back to last season.
“Defensively, the start of the year was a little rough for me and the team but I thought as the year went on everything improved,” Schultz said. "Our team was improving. We obviously didn’t finish the way we wanted to but it was a good finish for us and hopefully we build off of that and start strong this year."
General manager Craig Mactavish seems to believe the sky is the limit when it comes to Schultz:
Add it all up, and 2014-15 is set to be a defining year for both Schultz and the Oilers as a whole.