Golden Knights, Nate Schmidt Agree to Two-Year Contract

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Nate Schmidt. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 05: Nate Schmidt. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Vegas Golden Knights have signed defenseman and expansion draft pick Nate Schmidt to a two-year contract following arbitration Saturday.

Schmidt and the Golden Knights were the only two parties this off-season to go to arbitration. Vegas originally wanted to sign him a two-year deal with $1.9 million over two years, while Schmidt wanted a one-year, $2.75 million contract, as per Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review Journal. Following the hearing, Schmidt was rewarded a two-year deal with an AAV of $2.225 million.

Washington Capitals
Washington Capitals /

Washington Capitals

In 60 games with Washington his past season, Schmidt recorded three goals and 17 points, and was a plus-22. Toward the end of the season, he had to compete with Kevin Shattenkirk for a spot in the lineup, but due to an injury to Karl Alzner, Schmidt got more ice time in the playoffs. In 11 postseason games, Schmidt recorded a goal and four points, and was a plus-6.

While he just broke onto the NHL scene a few seasons ago, Schmidt has continued to develop in the right direction. He is a strong skater and takes great care of the puck, and he doesn’t turn over the puck often. In addition, Schmidt has a lot of offensive potential and puck-moving ability; he can make strong passes and start the rush from his own zone.

However, the 6-foot-1, 194-pound defender still has to improve in a few areas. First, he will have to increase his physical edge. Schmidt is a bit undersized, and this can land him into trouble when it comes to stacking up against his opponents. If he added more bulk and didn’t shy away from throwing his weight around a bit more, he would add more value to his overall game.

When Schmidt’s contract expires, he will become an unrestricted free agent, and should have more to show for himself by then.