Seven-year NHL veteran defenseman Nate Schmidt, who played his last three seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights, was traded last Monday to the Vancouver Canucks. In return, the Golden Knights will receive a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
The move was a shock for the 29-year old Schmidt, who still had five years remaining on a six-year contract worth $5.95 million per season. Schmidt tallied 31 points in 59 games this season and helped the Golden Knights advance past the Canucks in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Given that he felt secure for the next several seasons, the trade has created a whirlwind of emotions for Schmidt. Despite the difficulty right now, given what happened compared to conversations with the Golden Knights, Schmidt is looking forward to the new beginning.
The decision to trade Schmidt was not an easy one, according to Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon, who signed defenseman Alex Petrangelo immediately prior to the announcement that Schmidt had been traded.
Schmidt came to the Knight through the 2017 NHL Expansion draft and has had a productive run in 396 career NHL games. No question that uprooting is never easy, but Schmidt is taking some positives out of it, seeing first hand the type of organization Vancouver by battling them for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
By heading to the Canucks, Schmidt understands he is about to play for a team with great young players and up and coming talent. He witnessed the grit and determination that Vancouver had when he played against them in the post season, never giving up despite being down 3-1. Now Schmidt will be a part of that and he’s excited about continuing his career in Vancouver and what the future may bring.