Nate Schmidt: 2013-14 Season Review

Nate Schmidt came out of nowhere to inject some dynamism– and a whole bunch of smiles– into a dreary D-corps. And then, like that, he was gone. Was Schmidt in Washington like bringing a bologna sandwich to a banquet? Let’s discuss.

By the Numbers

29 Games played
18.2 Average time on ice per game
2 Goals
4 Assists
50.6% Shot attempt percentage during 5v5
56.1% Goal percentage during 5v5
9.8% On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5
93.1% On-ice saving percentage during 5v5

Peter’s Take

I don’t wanna hide my biases, so I’ll just tell you that I really really like Nate Schmidt. And it’s not just because he’s always got a goofy grin on his face– from the middle of October to the middle of December, Nate Schmidt was probably the best among all the fresh faces on the blue line. He was on the right side of the ice, he didn’t get embarrassed in his own end, and he had a monster slapshot. Not much not to like.

To be fair, Nate did spend half his time playing next to Mike Green (a block of time during which 52 wasn’t quite so troubled in his own end) and Schmidt didn’t do quite so well with possession when separated (48.3 shot attempt percentage / 61.1 goal percentage– whoa really?).

I don’t know what happened after the Caps’ shutout loss to the kittens on December 13, but that was pretty much it for Schmidt in Washington. Adam Oates– shrug. Schmidt made one more appearance in January and then missed time in Hershey due to injury in March.

We know B Mac is interested in boning up his defenders next season, and literally everyone everywhere is all for it, but I for one would like to see Schmidt back in a Caps uniform this fall.

Schmidt on RMNB

In Pictures

This wicked slapper became Nate Schmidt’s first NHL goal. He did not get pied.

Here’s that slapper again, creating a rebound for Volpatti.

A hundred pounds of dough makes a big biscuit boys!” I love this guy.

Nate and other Bears visited Chocolate World.

Your Turn

How great is Nate? How much of that greatness was driven by Mike Green? With some retooling on the blue line imminent, what do you think the chances are of Nate coming back next year?

Read more: Japers Rink, Peerless

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  • Sarah

    Yay Nate! Yaaaay for Hershey! I was in such a romantic mood after spoofing Vanessa Williams for B Mac the other day, I wrote a love song for Hershey last night during the Kings-Hawks game. It’s based on “Gary, Indiana” from The Music Man.

    Hershey, Pennsylvania!
    What a wonderful name,
    Named for Milton Hershey of confectionary fame.
    Hershey, Pennsylvania, as Kyle Mace would say,
    Is where the sweetest hockey on the earth is on display!
    Hershey, Pennsylvania, Hershey, Pennsylvania, Hershey, Pennsylvania
    Let me say it once again.
    Future NHLers, when they’re famous will say: Hershey, Pennsylvania,
    That’s the town that “knew me when.”

    If you’d like to have a night of exhilaration,
    Get to watch the future Capitals in formation,
    Head on up to Pennsylvania’s only location
    Where they drop the puck
    And hockey doesn’t suck:*
    In Hershey, Pennsylvania,
    Hershey, Pennsylvania,
    Not in Philadelphia, or Pittsburgh should you roam, but–
    Hershey, Pennsylvania,
    Hershey, Pennsylvania,
    Hershey, Pennsylvania,
    The Bears’ sweet home!

    *Less offensive version: Where you can watch the Bears/ Kick Penguin derrieres

  • Rob W.

    I cant wait to see how Mac and Trotz develop guys like Nate and Wey

  • DashingDave314

    I think Nate with the roster as is should not be on the Opening Night Roster. However, he’d be at the top of the “callup” list. If Green gets traded, Schmidt could easily find his way onto the Opening Night roster. He has to be paired with a stay-at-home D (possibly Patrick Wey?).

  • tpr04

    I agree with your take on Schmidt. After Orlov, IMO, he was the most impressive of the AHL defensive callups and I could not understand why they didn’t bring him back. Of course, my list of Oates’ head scratching moves is so long, this one didn’t even crack the top 20.

  • Boush

    Just going to leave this here…

  • Michael Riley

    To date my favorite Nate Schmidt related post is the GoPro Cam on his helmet. “If you see a turtle on fence post, someone probably put it there”

  • Pat Magee

    Nate is the best D prospect we have other than Dima. Watching him in hershey was a pleasure… He drove play, QB’d the powerplay well, and was all around fantastic. Again, there is a very bright future.

  • Connor

    It is pretty absurd to think of because of our lack of depth last year, but holy smokes we are going to have a logjam at D in 3-4 years. Calrson, Alzner, Orlov, Schmidt, Wey, Carrick, Bowey all guys with huge potential to be great NHL defense men. Not even considering guys like Schilling, Brouillette, and Doojs. GMGM clearly didn’t leave us short on Defensive potential.

  • Barrett

    Sorry Schmidt, but you’ll start the season in the AHL. Perfect candidate to be top on the callup list if there is an injury. He’s still young at 23 yes old, plenty of time to continue development and make an impact in the NHL.

    With the current roster, I don’t place him over anyone.

  • Barrett

    True, but every NHL team has players in their pipeline with “potential”, that’s why they were drafted.

  • Connor

    True. But for what I have seen from guys like Orlov, Bowey, Schmidt, and Wey. I believe we have above average potential in our defensive pipeline. Still not sold on Carrick yet though.

  • Marky Narc

    Nate Schmidt is the best player to ever wear #88 in the NHL. Period.

  • Myan

    Can we please just give Schmidt a chance and let Erskine hang out in the press box until his contract expires? We have major problems with our bottom D pairing but I really do feel that Schmidt is the solution to 1/2 that problem. I hope that Trotz goes into camp with an open mind and I hope that the young guys play their hearts out for a roster spot. Hopefully we’ll see Schmidt at Verizon next season.

  • VeggieTart

    I’d love to see him back in the Caps lineup next year. I think any mistakes he made can be chalked up to rookie inexperience.

  • Eric Schulz

    I was with you ’til the last sentence. What? I’d say he may be the 5th best defender on our team; obviously the top 4 are Alzner, Carlson, Green, Orlov. After that, I’d say it’s probably Schmidt, then Wey, Hillen, Oleksy, Brouillette, Strachan, Carrick, Schilling (just using all the guys who played at least one game last year). Erskine is hard to peg, as he could be as high as 5th if last year was just him playing hurt a lot; but if he’s as done as he looked, he might only be ahead of Schilling. Not sure about Wey either; he impressed me with what little I saw from him; I’d rather see him than even Hillen next year (although part of that is due to style of play), but obviously I only saw a small sample size from him.
    I want to bolster the defense with at least one move (FA addition is fine), then I’d be okay with just letting someone earn that spot on the 3rd pair next to Orlov. I wouldn’t want it to be a puck-mover like Schmidt, I’d much rather have it be Wey, or if not, then Brouillette or even Strachan. So I agree that I wouldn’t have Schmidt on our NHL roster, but it’s not because of his talent.

  • Barrett

    Everything you just said in a long paragraph is what I said in one sentence. He is a puck moving defenseman with a good shot. He won’t take Carlson, Green or Orlov’s job, so there is no space for him on a regular basis. Add a defenseman to pair with Green. Use Erskine and Oleksy with Orlov. Schmidt is the next guy up, not because he isn’t good, but because there’s plenty of talent with his same skill set. I never commented on him not having talent. Its a matter of pairing skill sets.

  • johnnymorte

    Nate wasn’t bad. I don’t think he did anything quite remarkable and that made him appear invisible at times and therefore disposable in Oates’ defensive merry-go-round. I prefer Wey over Schmidt because I think he has more potential to be a shutdown specialist and that’s more in line with our needs. Schmidt has the ability to be a solid two way Dman, and he would do well on a team like the Oilers where he would fit in with a young group and compete for ice time.

  • Barrett

    Eric Lindros would argue, but he forgot what number he wore in the NHL and then forgot what he was going to argue about.

  • Jonah

    and to oates/calle jo’s defensive system which seemed to be derived somewhere in their asses.

  • John Martino

    The prospect raters rate most of these guys as 3rd pairing defensemen, with a realistic chance of not being NHL material. Only Bowey rates higher.

  • VeggieTart

    Maybe Oates threw the I Ching or something like that? Or darts at a wall?

  • Eric Schulz

    You said you wouldn’t put him over anybody; I took that to me he was below everybody, hence worse than. I would think you would understand the misunderstanding.
    I *do* wonder if we could pair Orlov and Green together on the 2nd, and have Schmidt on the 3rd; those two were above 50% CF% together on a team coached by Oates. Hard to find enough guys on the PK though, but maybe if we allow them to be aggressive, they’ll be able to kill penalties.
    I hope Wey earns that spot over Erskine or Oleksy too (unless Erskine returns to form).

  • Greg Schmidt

    I would not mind seeing Nate Schmidt (no relation that I’m aware of) back in DC. And if I ever got to play in the NHL, I’d have a permanent goofy smile on my face, too.