Defenseman Nate Schmidt, signed last season as a free agent from the University of Minnesota, has re-upped with the Capitals for a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced Sunday.
Passed over years ago during the NHL draft, the 22-year-old grew while with the Gophers before joining the Hershey Bears in 2013 and ultimately being promoted to Washington for 29 games last season. After making his debut on Oct. 12, the left-handed Schmidt finished with six points and six penalty minutes. Over 38 games with the Bears, he tallied 13 points and 12 penalty minutes.
Schmidt was one of four restricted free agents to be handed qualifying offers by the Capitals, which for Schmidt amounted to $874,125. According to Mike Vogel of the team’s Web site, the two-way deal will pay Schmidt $625,000 in the NHL and $110,000 in the AHL. Of that quartet, goaltender Edward Pasquale, center Michael Latta and Schmidt have re-signed with the team. Defenseman Cam Schilling is undecided.
At Minnesota, prior to signing with Washington, Schmidt was an all-WCHA first-teamer in 2012-13 with 32 points, most by a defenseman and tied for third in the NCAA. Given the Capitals’ current blue-line depth, bolstered by the offseason additions of high-priced free agents Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, Schmidt will likely find himself in Hershey once training camp closes.