Nate Schmidt was picked by the Vegas Golden Knights.

Capitals fans freaked.

They are right. Sitting Schmidt in favor of Brooks Orpik and Karl Alzner was dumb. Schmidt’s break out abilities showed in the playoffs. His CorsiFor Percentage was third behind Kevin Shattenkirk and Dmitry Orlov. And look at how happy he is!

However, Brian MacLellan has a plan. And there are a few silver linings.

The youth movement is here

The Caps wanted younger forwards from Hershey. In turn, this could help Washington on defense. BMac thinks one of his defensemen in Hershey is ready for primetime.

Christian Djoos plays a very similar game to Schmidt. Djoos is a smart player who makes a good first pass and does not panic with the puck. He is small; listed at 6’0” and 162 lbs. He is projected to be as good or better than fellow Cap Dmitry Orlov.

There are a few other players who could make the team. Madison Bowey, Jonas Siegenthaler, and Lucas Johansen improved in Hershey. However, they will not get big minutes, yet.

Barry Trotz is on the hot seat

Trotz is not good when it comes to developing young talent. He sat Filip Forsberg when he was in Nashville. Trotz sat Schmidt over the course of two seasons. MacLellan forced Trotz to move Dmitry Orlov up the line up. And Todd Reirden is now an associate coach, not an assistant coach.

Losing defensemen to free agency and Vegas is bad. Forcing Trotz to play younger players and allow them to develop under Reirden’s tutelage is good though. Schmidt, Orlov, and Andre Burakovsky are excellent examples of this theory. It is time to put it into practice.

Vegas is keeping Schmidt

It was originally reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs wanted Schmidt.

Vegas said no.

To promote hockey in Vegas, guys need to talk to the media and be great ambassadors of the game. Marc-Andre Fleury was a great pick for this reason. Schmidt is the underrated player here. If anyone can sell hockey to the desert, it is an un-drafted Minnesotan with a huge smile.


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Author Details
My name is Julia, and I’m a Bethesda, MD native. I became an ice hockey fan after my dad took me to a Capitals game when I was 7, but quickly realized most 5’2” southern girls don’t become Peter Bondra. I’m a 2015 graduate of Mount Holyoke College where I studied psycholinguistics, which is a fancy way of saying why people talk funny. By day I’m a graduate student at UMD studying journalism.
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My name is Julia, and I’m a Bethesda, MD native. I became an ice hockey fan after my dad took me to a Capitals game when I was 7, but quickly realized most 5’2” southern girls don’t become Peter Bondra. I’m a 2015 graduate of Mount Holyoke College where I studied psycholinguistics, which is a fancy way of saying why people talk funny. By day I’m a graduate student at UMD studying journalism.

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