MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The University of Minnesota hockey program announced Tuesday that junior Nate Schmidt will forego his senior season with the Gophers and enter the NHL.
Schmidt, a defenseman, signed two-year entry-level contract with the Washington Capitals. Schmidt played in 96 career games for the Gophers, scoring 12 goals and collecting 74 points. He earned All-WCHA honors twice and was part of the last two regular season titles with the Gophers.
Schmidt had a breakout sophomore season with 41 points in a year where the Gophers made it to the Frozen Four. He emerged this year as one of the team’s top players. He led the WCHA in scoring for defensemen this season with nine goals and 32 points.
“I wouldn’t trade my experience at the University of Minnesota for anything, and I am incredibly grateful to the team and staff for three great seasons at the ‘U,’ Schmidt said in a news release. “This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it is the right decision, and I am looking forward to beginning the next chapter of my playing career.”