Gophers’ hockey standout heads to NHL

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota defenseman Nate Schmidt has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Washington Capitals.

The deal was done on Tuesday.

Schmidt played three seasons for the Gophers, tallying 74 points including 12 goals in 96 career games. The junior from St. Cloud Cathedral High School was one of Minnesota’s most valuable players in 2012-13. He was a key contributor on special teams as well as the leader on the blue line, named first team All-WCHA after leading the league in scoring by a defenseman.

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Schmidt had 32 points with a plus-15 rating this season, including a career-high nine goals. The Gophers were upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament by Yale.