This season Nate Schmidt played in twice as many Caps games than the past two seasons. We love watching Schmidty play. He gives all he has every game; he hits with power, blocks blistering slap shots with his body, has speed in his skating, and a smile on his face during his interviews in between periods. Not easy to do after playing 20 minutes of hockey, but we love when Schmidty is the special guest during period breaks at home or on the road.
The blond haired, blue eyed American born defenseman turns 25 on July 16th.. What?! Yes he’s a quarter of a century old. Seems like yesterday he was just starting out with the Caps.
This season Nate scored two goals and 14 assists in 72 games with the Washington Capitals. He earned a permanent spot in the line up for most of the season. He was a solid player on the blue line providing the Caps with consistent checking, passing, and more importantly his infectious smile helped keep spirits high even in those low spots.
As the Caps team matures you can see Nate developing into one of the leaders on the team down the road. Not only through his play but the words of encouragement to other players. With the recent loss of Jason Chimera to free agency and the New York Islanders, we can see Schmidty possibly taking Chimmers’s place in the locker room.
Nate has great role models to learn from: Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, Matt Niskanen, and Karl Alzner. And with teammates like Taylor Chorney, Schmidty has a great team supporting his growth in the Caps system.
Caps fans could expect Schmidt to really come into his own in the next few years. He’s had the taste of playoffs and now knows how fast the game can be during playoffs. With experience, you learn and grow to develop your game that much better. Nate Schmidt has the tools and the teachers to improve his game to the next level. We are anxious to see what he brings in the 2016-17 season.
Happy birthday Nate! 25 looks good on you and your smiling face!