Freshmen Spotlight: Nate Schmidt

The tenth and last member of this year's hockey freshmen class is defenseman Nate Schmidt. Schmidt will add depth to a position that the Gophers were severely lacking at last season.

Nate Schmidt, who hails from St. Cloud, is an excellent addition to the Maroon and Gold. Schmidt has been amazing prior to coming to the Gophers. In his final year at St. Cloud Cathedral High School he had 25 goals and 28 assists for 53 points in just 31 games.

Schmidt also led his team to a fourth place finish in state. After graduating high school, Schmidt played for the Fargo Force of the USHL with fellow classmate, Nate Condon.

Last season with the Force, Schmidt had a spectacular season. In 70 total games he had 14 goals and 29 assists for 43 points. Schmidt's 37 regular season points was fifth best among defensemen in the USHL.

Schmidt will bring a highly skilled game to the Gophers. One of Schmidt's greatest attributes is his abundance of offensive skills. Schmidt can bring the puck up, deke defenders, make a cross-ice pass or score if he needs to.

Fans may remember Schmidt's goal in the 2009 State Tournament against Mahtomedi where he took the puck, split two defenders and scored while falling down.

The talent that Schmidt brings to the offensive end will help the Gophers get the puck moving and should provide more scoring chances for the team. He possesses a blistering shot that will become useful on the Gopher powerplay.

Schmidt also plays solid defense, rarely being out of position. At 6-foot-0, 199, Schmidt isn't the tallest player but he can throw his almost 200 pounds around with some force. Schmidt is the type of intense player who will never shy away from making contact.

Schmidt possesses a bevy of offensive skills as well as solid defending skills to go along with a physical presence. His all-around game will earn him plenty of playing team on the Gophers' blue line this season.

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