Report: Nate Schmidt Traded to Winnipeg Jets by Vancouver Canucks

Nate Schmidt traded
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After just a single season with the Vancouver Canucks, 2021 sees Nate Schmidt traded again, this time to the Winnipeg Jets. The Canucks grabbed him from the Vegas Golden Knights in return for just a third-round pick in 2022. That’s one heck of a deal, as Vegas was in pursuit of Alex Pietrangelo and was happy to shed cap space. The Canucks will get a third-round pick for Schmidt.

NHL free agent frenzy

Canucks Trade Nate Schmidt

Easy Come…

The undrafted Schmidt got his shot with the Washington Capitals, signing out of the University of Minnesota in 2012. He grew into a reliable bottom-pair defenceman just in time to be selected in the Golden Knights’ expansion draft. With the new opportunity, he leapt to the top pair, scoring 30+ points three straight seasons. After 97 points in 196 games – and 20 in 47 playoff games – he was shipped out to the Canucks at a bargain rate.

That offence never quite showed in Vancouver, and at 30 years old he is no doubt looking to join a more successful system. And the Canucks, shallow though their defence is, catered to his wish.

…Easy Go

In Vancouver, Schmidt was primarily used as a partner with Alexander Edler. While they were reasonably reliable on defence, it wasn’t a pairing that encouraged a lot of offence. That showed in his boxcars, with just five goals and 15 points over 54 games. The Canucks missed the playoffs, of course, so there was no chance for redemption there.

Even so, the team is in hard on the blue line. While moving his near $6 million cap hit is a relief, they are also losing a capable and versatile veteran.

What This Means for the Future

The Canucks have an exciting young star on defence in Quinn Hughes. They have an older veteran in Tyler Myers who is also exciting, though for different reasons. But with Nate Schmidt traded they have an awful lot of questions. Jack Rathbone looks ready for a chance in the NHL, and Olli Juolevi is getting his shot this season. Otherwise?

The team is going to need their new arrival to fit in immediately. Maybe it would help if he whooped? Winnipeg is adding to their defence, trading for Brenden Dillon yesterday. The Jets obviously aren’t pleased with a second-round loss to Montreal and have looked to add defensive help.

[Hat tip, as ever, to the indispensable CapFriendly.]


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