From the moment the Golden Knights selected defenseman Nate Schmidt from the Washington Capitals during the Expansion Draft, our Twitter feed has been inundated with mentions…
"GIVE HIM BACK!"
"TAKE CARE OF HIM HE DESERVES IT!"
And so on.
"VEGAS WILL LEARN NATE PUKES RAINBOWS"
Seriously, we received this one.
These messages, of course, coming from fans of the Washington Capitals who enjoyed having Schmidt on their favorite team, who regretted seeing him come to Vegas.
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Why did Capitals fans like Schmidt so much?
Here are three fun facts to get to know the Golden Knights' No. 88 better.
1. Has an extremely outgoing personality
Especially on social media, Schmidt isn't afraid to show his personality. We've already seen this in Las Vegas.
Of course, Schmidt played far longer in Washington (parts of four seasons) than he has so far in Vegas. So those in the nation's capital have a far better idea about what he's like than Golden Knights fans do so far.
He had an especially funny segment on CSN Mid-Atlantic. Watch Here
2. George McPhee Likes Him A Lot, Too
Nate Schmidt was never drafted.
He, however, excelled at the University of Minnesota, where he's from, and was signed as un undrafted free agent by the Capitals in 2013.
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Washington's general manager back then, of course, was McPhee.
Seeing as the Golden Knights general manager played such an integral role in the unsung Schmidt becoming an NHL players, and then chose to reacquire him in Vegas when he had a chance, it shows that McPhee and his staff have a lot of confidence in this player.
3. Will be in a larger role than ever before
With the Capitals, Schmidt's role was constantly evolving.
For this first two seasons, it became almost a running gag among Capitals fans how often Schmidt was a healthy scratch.
The past two seasons, however, he carved a niche for himself.
Schmidt's a strong skater, and although not much of a scorer, moves the puck well.
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On the Capitals, the Presidents' Trophy winners the past two seasons, he was slotted behind the established likes of John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov and, at times, Brooks Orpik. Despite this, Schmidt fought his way into the lineup as a regular on a team that finished the regular season with the most points in the NHL each of the past two seasons.
On the Golden Knights, Schmidt comes to a team with no established roster places.
And without Carlsons and Niskanens ahead of him, figures to have a chance to play on the Golden Knights' top defensive pair.