The Winnipeg Jets are expected to healthy scratch defenseman Nate Schmidt in their Thursday game against the Vegas Golden Knights. This will be only the second time that Winnipeg has scratched Schmidt, with his last scratching coming on March 4th of last season. Schmidt slotted back into the lineup immediately after, scoring a goal in his first game back and recording seven points in 18 games through the rest of the season.
The 32-year-old Schmidt is in his third season with the Winnipeg Jets, joining them via trade after Winnipeg dealt a 2022 third-round pick to the Vancouver Canucks for the defender. His first year with the Jets was a career year, with Schmidt recording 32 points in 77 games, good for the second-highest scoring season of his career. He also averaged 20 minutes of ice time, confidently operating in the team’s top four. But his role, and his scoring, dwindled last season, with Schmidt netting 19 points in 71 games while serving on the team’s third pair. He’s maintained this latter role into the 2023-24 season and currently sits without a point, and with a -3, through three games this year.
Logan Stanley will appear in his season debut in light of Schmidt’s scratching, likely lining up next to Dylan Samberg. Stanley, 25, appeared in 19 games with the Jets last season, tallying three points and 21 penalty minutes. It was his third year of operating as Winnipeg’s seventh defenseman, with Stanley appearing in 114 games and scoring 20 points through that stretch. Winnipeg traded up to select Stanley 18th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft and awarded him his NHL debut during the 2020-21 season.