The Vegas Golden Knights added one of the top free agent college defensemen to their organization on Wednesday, signing Jimmy Schuldt of St. Cloud State to a one-year entry-level contract.
Schuldt, 23, registered 35 points (10 goals and 25 assists) in 39 games for St. Cloud State this season. The St. Cloud captain also took home a couple of personal accolades this year, winning the NCHC Player of the Year and Defensive Defenseman of the Year. He was also a Hobey Baker nominee, which is the award given to the best college hockey player.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound blue liner was one of the most coveted college free agents with multiple teams pursuing him, including the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues.
Schuldt is known as an all-around solid defenseman who doesn’t shy away from physical play and has a lethal shot from the point. Over the past two seasons, Schuldt has scored 12 of his 20 goals on the power play, and with a shot like this it’s no surprise.
Despite attending Vegas’ development camp last summer, Schuldt likely will not play this season, although Gerard Gallant would not rule out the possibility of him playing in one of the teams final two regular season games.
Contract wise, the CBA permits the Golden Knights to only sign him to a one-year entry-level deal. However, once his deal expires he will become a restricted free agent and remain under team control. During that time the Golden Knights can work out a long-term deal with Schuldt, which is something I’m sure the two sides have already discussed.
With Schuldt in the mix now, general manager George McPhee has done a nice job of restocking the Golden Knights’ prospect pool along the blue line after trading Erik Brannstrom earlier this year. Between Nicolas Hague, Zach Whitecloud, Dylan Coghlan and now Schuldt, Vegas fans have a lot of exciting prospects to monitor over the coming years.
Here are a couple videos you can watch on the newest Golden Knight.