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Brandon Prust contract talks; Justin Schultz notes

Contract talks aren’t going to be a distraction for Brandon Prust. Per Larry Brooks, the right winger is putting contract discussions on hold while the Rangers are still trying to lock up the Atlantic Division title. Prust is one of seven pending unrestricted free agents, but one that the Rangers will likely pursue and re-sign prior to July 1.

Since coming over from Calgary in 2010 as a part of the Olli Jokinen trade, Prust has been a pleasant surprise and an integral piece of the Rangers core, and has even chipped in offensively, with 55 points over the course of two and a third seasons with the Rangers (179 games). In addition to being a part of one of the Rangers top defensive lines, Prust is also heavily relied upon to kill penalties.

In NCAA news, also per Brooks in the same article, the Rangers might pursue Wisconsin Badgers defenseman Justin Schultz. The talk on Schultz may be a bit premature though. Schultz was Anaheim’s second round pick in 2008 (43rd overall), but has yet to sign with the Ducks. If Schultz does not sign by July 1, he will be a free agent.

Schultz, drafted out of the BCHL, joined Wisconsin in 2009, and was teammates with both Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh. Following McDonagh’s departure, Schultz was relied upon as a top defenseman, and answered the call. In his last two seasons, the 6’1 185-lb defenseman has averaged more than a point per game from the blue line, with a line of 34-57-91 in 78 games.

This situation is similar to the Tim Erixon situation, but not identical. Since Schultz went to play in the NCAA, the drafting organization needs to have the player signed by July 1 following his senior year. In Erixon’s case, he did not play in the NCAA, thus he needed to be signed before July 1 two years after his draft year. Similar, but different.

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  • Prust will be signed long before he becomes a free agent!

    The guy has done everything asked of him, plus some. Pound for pound, Prust is, if not the toughest, one of the toughest players in the entire NHL. The man is fearless, has brass gonads, will fight you like a pit bull, it’s only pain, what a quote. His salary should be at least double the amount he is currently being paid.

    I’ve never seen, or heard of Justin Schultz, but if he’s anything like the other two Wisconsin players on this team, then maybe we should make a move for the kid. He is 6’1, 185 lbs, a bit light in the ass for a d-man, but he can gain weight, and muscle mass as he goes along. I read that he is more advanced than McD offensivly, so that isn’t bad at all.

    In closing, lets get the Devils tonight, and dish out some hurt on them. Dubi, get into a fight with Kovelchuck, this time lead with your right, and not your nose.

    PS-did anyone else notice all week-end, not one team even made an attempt to check Cindy at all. I hate that little prick.

    • Wisconsin generates solid NHL players. It’s a product of their coaching. BC and Michigan also produce good NHLers. The NCAA route is very underrated.

  • Why would Schultz sign with the Rangers? Young guy would want to sign with a team and play right away. There has to be better options than signing with a team loaded with the likes of Girardi, Staal, McDonagh, MDZ, Erixon and McIlrath. Brooks will write anything to fill his column, of course, he’d have this happen after the Rangers sign Weber and Suter.

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