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2012 NHL Rumors: Justin Schultz To Make His Decision Today

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One of the biggest fish in the free agent pond (if not THE biggest fish based on his age and skill) is going to be making his decision today. Justin Schultz, the Wisconsin offensive defenseman, will reportedly make his final decision today as to where he is going to start his NHL career.

Remember that while Schultz can make his decision today, he can't officially sign his contract until Sunday after the free agent period opens at 12 p.m.

The New York Rangers, who supposedly pitched Schultz with John Tortorella, Ryan McDonagh and Mark Messier, are one of the team Schultz is considering.

Join me after the jump for more.

The outlook of the Rangers' free agency plans most likely hinge on Schultz right now, especially if Glen Sather is waiting to see whether or not he can include Michael Del Zotto into a deal for a sniper (read: Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan) if Zach Parise actually isn't in the mood to jump across the Hudson.

Schultz would automatically become one of the Rangers' top prospects, and he would be expected to play a major role for the team next year. It's lofty expectations for the youngster, but his polished game will translate well to the Rangers -- especially since they need help on the power play.

The good news here is that if Schultz does make his decision today, then the Rangers will know which direction they are moving in come tomorrow's free agency period. There won't be any waiting period in which they need to hold off on making moves because they're unsure about Schultz.

So, enough about this kid already, do you think he's coming to New York?