Winnipeg Jets Set to Buyout Nate Schmidt

Nate Schmidt with the Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets have placed defenseman, Nate Schmidt, on waivers today for the purpose of a buyout. The 32-year-old defenseman was set to enter the final year of his six-year contract worth $5.95 million annually.

The Winnipeg Jets had previously acquired Schmidt from the Vancouver Canucks in July 2021 for a draft pick. Schmidt was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2024-25 season.

Schmidt will have to first clear waivers before the Winnipeg Jets can officially buy out his contract. The Winnipeg Jets get some serious salary cap flexibility now by buying out Schmidt’s contract.

The Jets will have just under $12 million to work with ahead of free agency. Schmidt’s buyout costs $2.7 million this year and $1.6 million next year.

Nate Schmidt signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals in the 2012-13 season after he finished up his third and final season with the University of Minnesota. He later made his NHL debut in the 2013-14 season where he posted six points (2G, 4A) in 29 games.

Schmidt later found full-time NHL success in the 2015-16 season with the Capitals where he played 72 games and did not get re-assigned to the AHL’s Hershey Bears.

He would get his time in Washington cut short as he signed as an unrestricted free agent to play for the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season. Schmidt posted three consecutive 30-point seasons in Vegas before making his way to the Vancouver Canucks for one season. Schmidt posted a career-high in goals (9) in the 2018-19 season, assists (31) and points (36) in the 2017-18 season.

Schmidt would get off to a hot start in Winnipeg as he recorded 32 points (4G, 28A) in 77 games in his debut Jets season. Schmidt would only post 14 points (2G, 12A) across 63 games in the 2023-24 season where the Jets were positioned with lots of defensive depth.

He found himself pushed down the depth charts, and almost no teams that Schmidt would accept a trade to had the necessary cap space to take his contract in full.

In 661 career NHL games, Schmidt has posted 220 points (47G, 173A) and a plus-minus of plus-102.

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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