Despite serving out a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, the Vegas Golden Knights locked up Nate Schmidt for the next six years. The extension will carry him through the 2024-25 season, paying him an AAV of $5.95M and $35.7M overall.
Schmidt will be available to return to the lineup when the Golden Knights face the Edmonton Oilers on November 18th.
This follows the recent seven-year contract given to Alex Tuch, who was activated from injured reserve and made his season debut Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks.
Schmidt’s new deal 👇
-Six-year extension through 2024-25
-Average annual value of $5.95 million
-Infinity more smiles coming to The Fortress 😀
Not bad, Nate! pic.twitter.com/sIJlzY7W7P
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) October 25, 2018
Nate Schmidt Staying In Vegas
Selected by the Golden Knights during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, Schmidt was a steady force on the back-end last season. He led all Golden Knights in even strength, power play and penalty minutes. His 22:14 average minutes per game also led all skaters.
With five goals and 31 assists last season, Schmidt reached a career high in all categories. His 76 games played were his most since the 72 he appeared in with the Washington Capitals in 2014-15. The Golden Knights continued to rely on him during their run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season. He averaged 24:25 minutes of ice time, which was almost three minutes more than the next closest teammate.
Schmidt posted three goals and four assists in 20 playoff games, the most he’s played in during his career. His seven points are a career high in the playoffs. It was his third consecutive season playing past the regular season.
Undrafted, Schmidt began his professional career with the Washington Capitals in April of 2013 when he appeared in eight games with their affiliate, the Hershey Bears, of the American Hockey League. Schmidt would spend four seasons with the Capitals, where he put up eight goals and 35 assists in 200 games.
Schmidt was in the midst of finishing out his two-year contract after facing arbitration last August. He is currently serving out a 20 game suspension for violating the NHL’s performance-enhancing drug use policy. Schmidt is in Austria, training with the Vienna Capitals as he awaits his return.
Signing Schmidt to a long-term extension gives the Golden Knights security on their defensive end and locks up a big part of their team. Schmidt would have been an unrestricted free agent had the Golden Knights not signed him to an extension.
For now, the team will have to wait a little less than a month for Schmidt to make his return to the lineup. There’s no doubt, however, that the team will be happy to have him back as they sit at a 4-4-1 record through nine games.
Embed from Getty Images