Per the team, the Caps have locked up another of their soon-to-be restricted free agents, signing Nate Schmidt to a two-year, one-way deal that will pay him $$750,000 next season and $875,000 in 2016-17.
Schmidt had a bit of an up-and-down season, with some good stretches alongside Mike Green on the team's third defensive pair that combined with some rough luck - something that continued at the start of an AHL stint designed to get him more playing time, when he suffered a broken shoulder blade that would sideline him for over a month.
For Schmidt, this two-year deal gives him another shot at cementing a permanent spot in the lineup starting next season. As noted in his Rink Wrap:
When Nate looks at the depth chart, he sees four guys entrenched in front of him (both by experience and contractual positioning), and some solid blueline options on the horizon in the farm system. This is his time to prove himself, because patience for 24-year-old defensemen to fully develop starts to wane.
ARLINGTON, VA. - The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Nate Schmidt to a two-year, one-way contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Schmidt will earn $750,000 during the 2015-16 season and $875,000 in 2016-17.
Schmidt, 23, registered four points (one goal, three assists) in a career-high 39 games with the Capitals last season. The St. Cloud, Minn., native made his NHL debut in 2013-14 and earned six points (two goals, four assists) in 29 games. Schmidt registered his first NHL point with an assist at Calgary on Oct. 26, 2013, and scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 7, 2013, against Nashville. In 68 career NHL games, Schmidt has registered 10 points (three goals, seven assists) and 16 penalty minutes.
Schmidt appeared in 19 games with Hershey (AHL) during the 2014-15 season, recording nine points (three goals, six assists). The 6'0", 193-pound defenseman registered an AHL career-high three points (two goals, one assist) in his AHL season debut on Jan. 10 against Norfolk. Schmidt has recorded 26 points (six goals, 20 assists) in 65 career games with the Bears.
Prior to turning pro, Schmidt spent the 2012-13 season with the University of Minnesota, registering 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in 40 games. Schmidt was named to the All-WCHA First Team after leading the League in scoring by defensemen. Schmidt finished the season ranked tied for third among all NCAA defensemen with 32 points including a career-high nine goals. He also led all collegiate defensemen and ranked tied for sixth among all skaters with 19 power-play points. In 96 career games at Minnesota (2010-13), Schmidt tallied 74 points (12 goals, 62 assists) as a two-time All-WCHA defenseman.