What do the Caps Need to Do to Keep Nate Schmidt?

Posted June 18, 2017

(Caps Outsider)

The protected lists are out and the Vegas Golden Knights are starting to make selections. From the Caps, it is really down to one of two players: Nate Schmidt or Philipp Grubauer.

The Caps would be in a worse position to start next year if they lose Schmidt, who they expect to be a top four defenseman, than a backup goalie. Pheonix Copley is ready, in my opinion, to take the next step and be a full time back-up in the NHL.

Vegas is now operating like the other 30 teams in the NHL, meaning they can accept trades. The Caps can offer something to Vegas to stay away from Schmidt, and they might have to in order to keep T.J. Oshie.

So the question becomes, what do the Caps give to Vegas? The Caps are relatively restricted in their draft picks. They do not have a pick until the 4th round this year, and they don’t have a 2nd or a 5th next year.

The Caps do have their 2019 2nd round pick. This pick was a conditional given to the Blues as part of the Kevin Shattenkirk trade. Because the Caps did not get past the second round, they get to keep this pick (unless they sign Shattenkirk which does not appear to be likely).

The question becomes what do the Caps value him at? Is he worth a 2nd round pick to the Caps? Is he worth a 3rd? Hopefully we will find out, otherwise, Schmidt may be a Golden Knight.