ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have assigned defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
Schmidt spent this season with the University of Minnesota, registering 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) and 16 penalty minutes in 40 games. Schmidt was named to the All-WCHA First Team after leading the league in scoring by a defenseman. Schmidt finished the season ranked tied for third among all NCAA defensemen with 32 points including a career-high nine goals. Schmidt also led all collegiate defensemen and ranked tied for sixth among all skaters with 19 power-play points this season. Schmidt finished the year with a plus-15 rating.
In 96 career games at Minnesota, the 6’, 195-pound defenseman tallied 74 points (12 goals, 62 assists) as a two-time All-WCHA defenseman. In his final two seasons with the program, Schmidt and the Gophers won back-to-back MacNaughton Cups as Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season champions and made two trips to the NCAA tournament including the team’s run to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2011-12.
After appearing in 13 games split between forward and defense in 2010-11, Schmidt posted a breakout season in 2011-12 with a career-high 41 points. The All-WCHA Second Team selection led NCAA defensemen and finished third overall in the nation with 38 assists (the sixth-most assists in a season by a Gophers defenseman).
The Capitals signed Schmidt to a two-year, entry-level contract on Tuesday.