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Justin Schultz appears to be headed for free agency

Justin Schultz

For a while now it’s looked like Justin Schultz was probably going to become an unrestricted free agent. At this point, it would be a shock if he decided to avoid the open market.

The Anaheim Ducks 2008 second-round draft pick has excelled with the University of Wisconsin and could make an immediate impact in the NHL.

Anaheim had an exclusive 30-day window to get something done, but as the Orange County Register points out, that period ends Sunday.

“I met quietly with their people [Thursday] night and it’s not going anywhere,” Ducks GM Bob Murray said. “Justin’s made up his mind on what he’s doing.”

All the same, Murray insisted that he would make one last attempt to get Schultz to agree to an entry-level contract.

If that doesn’t work, Schultz will be able to negotiate with any team on Monday, although he won’t be allowed to ink a contract until July 1.

The Hockey News is reporting that Schultz and his agent plan to meet on Tuesday to determine their next move.

“This one is going to be just as big as the (Zach) Parise and (Ryan) Suter,” an NHL executive said, “because of the economics of it.”

Schultz will be limited to signing an entry-level contract, so money isn’t expected to be a factor in his decision.