Nate Schmidt, freshly claimed by the Las Vegas Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft, is now drawing interest from the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to a report from TVA's Louis Jean.
I know Vegas is pretty high on him. Won't give him away that is certain. Return will have to be worthwhile. https://t.co/e8FjB9euQd— Louis Jean (@LouisJean_TVA) June 22, 2017
Given the wheeling and dealing around the expansion draft, it's certainly possible the Knights chose Schmidt with plans of sending him to Toronto all along.
But the eyebrow-raising part of this report is the supposed asking price – a second-round pick. The Capitals almost certainly could have negotiated a better deal with Las Vegas to keep Schmidt.
George McPhee, general manager of the Knights, signed Schmidt as an undrafted free agent in his previous role as Caps GM.
McPhee was quoted before the expansion draft as saying other teams could negotiate to hold onto their players. And Schmidt's potential to be a top-four defenseman as soon as next year should have incentivized Washington to do whatever it took to secure his future in D.C.
So either this report is questionable or the Capitals weren't willing to give up more than Toronto (a second-round pick) to keep Schmidt.
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