Schuldt, 24, was the prize of the college market earlier this year when he finished his four-year stint at St. Cloud State. The smooth-skating defenseman put up 118 points over 156 games for the Huskies and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker award in both his junior and senior seasons. Serving as captain since his sophomore year, Schuldt was expected to step right into an NHL lineup as a bottom-pairing option even as he learns the ropes of professional hockey.
The Golden Knights won the recruiting war against almost every other team in the league, and brought Schuldt in on a one-year entry-level deal that would be immediately burned. He played one game down the stretch for the team but would have been a restricted free agent this summer regardless, giving him some negotiating leverage coming out of the NCAA system. Unfortunately the Golden Knights found themselves in quite a tough financial situation this offseason and needed to jettison several players to even make room for the ones they already had under contract, thanks to expensive extensions for Mark Stone, Nate Schmidt and others kicking in for the 2019-20 season.
That left little room for Schuldt, but getting a deal done before the young defenseman misses any of his first NHL training camp will allow him to be ready to compete for a full-time job. The team has some other options including Zach Whitecloud and Nic Hague that will be competing for what may be just one available roster spot, meaning Schuldt has to do more than just show up to be on the opening night lineup. He will still be waiver-exempt this season, meaning he could very well start in the minor leagues if the team goes in a different direction.