PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 04: Pittsburgh Penguins Defenseman Justin Schultz (4) handles the puck during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals on October 4, 2018, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The Penguins defeated the Capitals 7-6 in overtime. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Justin Schultz left tonights game against the Montreal Canadiens after suffering an ugly ankle injury. The full extent of the injury has not yet been announced. 

Justin Schultz Injured in Montreal

Schultz went down hard after running into the boards with Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec. His left leg bent awkwardly underneath his body and he was helped off the ice by his teammates and Pens trainer Chris Stewart. The injury happened only about eight minutes into the game. Schultz went straight to the Penguins locker room to be evaluated. He did not appear to be putting any weight onto his leg as he was escorted out. Schultz is not expected to return to the game. 

Coming into the fourth game of the season, Schultz currently has posted four assists. Throughout the course of his NHL career, Schultz has played for the Edmonton Oilers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has put up 45 goals and 146 assists for a career of 191 points in 410 career games. The defenseman was originally drafted in 2008 by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round, 43rd overall.

What this means for the future

Schultz has been a solid performer on the blue line for the Pens, a team that has been struggling with their defence for some time. Jamie Oleksiak and Chad Ruhwedel were healthy scratches for Saturday’s game. Oleksiak will undoubtedly see more ice time with Schultz sidelined. Since coming over from the Dallas Stars in December of 2017, Oleksiak has played 50 games with the club, posting five goals and 10 assists for 15 points. He netted the first goal of the Penguins 2018-19 season less than two minutes into the game against the Washington Capitals. Oleksiak has been a strong physical presence on the ice and boasts an intimidating heavy shot. If given the opportunity, Oleksiak could easily prove to slot in as a top-four defender for the team.

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