The Winnipeg Jets continue to stockpile defencemen, as the team has announced its most recent acquisition of blueliner Nate Schmidt from the Vancouver Canucks. Heading to BC is a 2022 third round selection in the deal that brings the 30-year-old to Manitoba.
Having begun his career in Washington, Schmidt transitioned to Vegas through the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, before signing a big-money deal to stay with the Golden Knights in 2018. But in early October of 2020, Schmidt was traded to Vancouver, where he struggled under the Canucks’ systems. On Tuesday evening, he was shipped to Winnipeg for the third round selection.
Currently entering the third season of a six-year deal worth $35.7 million over its duration, Schmidt carries a $5.95 million cap hit annually, and will be among the team’s top-earning defenders.
With a focus clearly on the blueline, Jets’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has now added big-name defenders Schmidt and Brenden Dillon via trade, even before signing season began on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the team saw both Tucker Poolman and goaltender Laurent Brossoit walk via free agency, but with the incoming money-heavy deals of Dillon and Schmidt, there we no room for the others at this point,
Still needing to sign restricted free agents Andrew Copp, Neal Pionk and Logan Stanley, the team will have to get creative in its spending plan going forward.