ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed free agent defenseman Nate Schmidt to a two-year, entry-level contract beginning this season, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
The 6’, 195-pound defenseman 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, Schmidt 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)
Schmidt participated in the 2012 Washington Capitals Development Camp as a tryout. He will participate in the Capitals practice on Wednesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.