May 26, 2012 / 5:00 am
He's been described but many as the best defenceman NOT playing in the National Hockey League.
Now, West Kelowna native and former Westside Warrior, Justin Schultz may be ready to cash in on that promise.
According to TSN, Schultz has de-registered from Wisconsin University, and if he doesn't sign with the Anaheim Ducks by late next month, he would become a free agent, able to sign with any of the 30 teams in the NHL.
League rules state that once a team is informed a player has de-registered from school, they have 30 days to sign him or lose him to unrestricted free agency.
Schultz, 21, has spent the last three seasons at the University of Wisconsin where he scored 40 goals and 113 points in 121 games.
He led the team in scoring both seasons and led the nation in scoring by a defenceman.
Schultz, who spent two full seasons with the Warriors and parts of a third, was the 43rd player taken in the 2008 NHL draft by the Ducks, however, he has yet to sign a pro contract.
The TSN report further stated it was believed Schultz de-registered from Wisconsin this past Tuesday, meaning the Ducks have 30 days from that date (May 22) to sign him.
If they can't reach an agreement, Schultz would become a free agent June 21, just days before the 2012 NHL draft.
The Ducks could also trade Schultz's rights to another team prior to him becoming a free agent.
Whatever happens, while Schultz can negotiate with any team after he becomes an unrestricted free agent, he can't sign before July 1.
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