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Vegas trades Schmidt to Canucks for 3rd-round pick

Andy Devlin / National Hockey League / Getty

The Vegas Golden Knights traded defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks for a third-round pick in 2022, the Canucks announced Monday.

The Golden Knights needed to clear cap room after signing Alex Pietrangelo, and Schmidt carries a $5.95-million cap hit for the next five seasons. The club is still $974,000 above the regular-season salary cap, though, according to CapFriendly. Teams are allowed to exceed the cap by 10% in the offseason.

Vancouver lost right-handed defensemen Chris Tanev and Troy Stecher in free agency this offseason. Schmidt is left-handed but he primarily played on the right side during his Vegas tenure.

Schmidt was plucked by the Golden Knights in the 2017 expansion draft from the Washington Capitals. He served as a top-four defenseman for the Knights, tallying at least 30 points each year.

The 29-year-old is an exceptional skater and posted an expected goals for percentage of at least 51% in all three seasons with Vegas despite being deployed in more of a defensive role, per Natural Stat Trick.

The Canucks' blue line projects to look something like this, pending further moves:

Quinn Hughes Tyler Myers
Alex Edler Nate Schmidt
Olli Juolevi Jordie Benn

Vancouver now has just under $2 million in projected cap space and still has to re-sign RFAs Jake Virtanen and Adam Gaudette.

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