Golden Knights give Nate Schmidt 6-year, $35.7M contract extension during PED suspension

The Vegas Golden Knights and defenseman Nate Schmidt have agreed to a six-year, $35.7 million ($5.95 million AAV), the team announced Thursday. Schmidt, who is nine games into a 20-game suspension for violating the NHL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, will make $8.8 million in the first year with his signing bonus. 

The contract also includes a 10-team no-trade clause, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. The move comes before the 27-year-old has a chance to increase his value in the year leading up to free agency.

Schmidt was a key part of the blue-line for the 2017 Golden Knights, and he was a big contributor in the runner-up finish of their inaugural season. Schmidt had 36 points — 19 more than his previous career-high set the season before with the Capitals — including 31 assists. He also had a 121 blocks and 57 takeaways, both career highs.

The Golden Knights now have Schmidt locked up until 2025, so that’s yet another key player who will be staying in Vegas for the foreseeable future. With Paul Stastny, Jonathan Marchessault, Max Pacioretty and Shea Theodore all on long-term deals, the Golden Knights look set for a few years. The next priority is likely Williams Karlsson, who will be a restricted free agent in 2019. Vegas clearly has Stanley Cup aspirations, and look for it to be in the running for years to come with these players locked up.

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