3 Potential Free Agent Destinations For Nate Schmidt

Nate Schmidt was bought out of the final year of his contract with the Winnipeg Jets prior to free agency, making him available for any team to sign this year. After the first day of free agency, there have been no bites yet. With what the 32-year-old has been able to do in his career, he's not done yet and would still bring some solid play on the bottom pair to a team. As the player who had the highest cap hit last season out of all of the remaining UFAs, here's three teams that he could end up playing for next season.

Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks were the quietest team in free agency on the first day, but that doesn't mean they are going to do nothing this offseason. The team is young and there is opportunity for a number of those players to get time and develop, but the Ducks still have to be somewhat competitive and show improvement. The defense is particularly young, inexperienced, and there aren't a lot of options. Outside of the top six defensemen, there aren't any extras who have any sort of meaningful experience in the NHL, especially last season. Schmidt could be a solid 6th/7th d-man for the Ducks to turn to if there's injuries or growing pains in their lineup.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins made some moves to get better, but they are really still missing a piece on defense despite adding Matt Grzelcyk. Between Jack St. Ivany, who doesn't have to go through waivers yet, and Ryan Shea, there isn't much NHL experience for a team with playoff aspirations. Schmidt can play both sides of the ice and realistically serve as the team's 6th d-man next year.

New York Rangers

The New York Rangers didn't bring back Erik Gustafsson and are expecting to see more of Zachary Jones in the lineup next year. That hasn't really worked out for them thus far and the Rangers, who are a Stanley Cup contender, will need to have their back-end solidified in front of the elite netminding to ensure minimal goals against. Even if Jones is able to step up, Schmidt is a solid piece to still have to come in when needed.

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