The Vegas Golden Knights have signed defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to a seven year deal with an AAV of $8.8 million dollars. To make room for Pietrangelo, they traded defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2022 3rd round pick.
The Golden Knights signing Pietrangelo seemed inevitable after he reportedly took a trip to Vegas. While he has never been a Norris finalist, he finished 4th in 2019-20, and has scored double digit goals in each of the last four seasons. While Schmidt was a fan-favorite, he is a top-4 defenseman, while Pietrangelo is easily a top-pairing guy. A big concern with him is that he is 30 years old, turning 31 next January. Seven years is a lot for a guy who is not exactly young. But Vegas definitely needed a right-handed defenseman, with Zach Whitecloud currently being their next best righty. They could move Shea Theodore to the right side, and have defensive pairings of Alec Martinez and Pietrangelo, Brayden McNabb and Theodore, and Nick Holden and Whitecloud. That will definitely do. Schmidt is good, but his contract looks like it could soon be a nightmare. Pietrangelo is a leader, who was the captain of the Blues when they won the 2019 Stanley Cup.
Pietrangelo, 30, scored 16 goals with 36 assists for 52 points in 70 games for the St. Louis Blues in 2019-20. In his NHL career, all in St. Louis, Pietrangelo has 109 goals with 341 assists for 450 points in 758 games.
The Canucks get a good player in Schmidt. He can play either the right or left side, and play on the first or second pairing. However, he is at the tail-end of his prime, and his contract does not look good. Schmidt has a $5.95 million cap hit, running for the next five seasons. While it might be better than the Tyler Myers deal (although it is only $50k less for one extra season), that is not good by any means. But the production that Schmidt will give them for the next 2-3 years will likely be better than anything a third round pick can give you, unless Vegas really hits the jackpot.
Schmidt, 29, scored seven goals with 24 assists for 31 points in 59 games for the Golden Knights in 2019-20. In his NHL career for Vegas and the Washington Capitals, Schmidt has 29 goals with 111 assists for 40 points in 396 games.