I'm the guy who hinted at the signing in your speculation thread last night, here for a follow up.
You guys should be really excited about this signing, I didn't want to hype him up too much last night because it wasn't a sure thing yet but this kid can really play. He played on a power play unit that included Erik Haula (MIN), Nick Bjugstad (FLA), Zach Budish (NSH), and Kyle Rau (FLA). There were times when Schmidt looked like the best offensive player of the five and he was playing with 4 extremely talented, drafted forwards. He has a great shot and he has a knack for getting it through traffic; he also showed some really great vision while quarterbacking the PP.
Oilers Chick's assessment of him was pretty spot on. He's really improved on defense and the biggest knock on him now is probably his size, which isn't even a problem IMO (6'0, 195). He uses his body well and isn't afraid to throw his weight around, but he isn't really a hitter like a few have suggested.
To answer a few questions, he played pretty well when put at forward even though it was somewhat obvious that it was not his natural position. He just put his head down and worked and never complained and that earned him a lot of respect from Gopher fans. He should have been playing defense his whole career but we had an atrocious assistant coach by the name of John Hill who said he would never be a D1 defenseman . Fast forward to the next year and he's arguably the best offensive defenseman in the nation not named Justin Schultz.
I saw someone mention that he converted to D in high school, not sure if that's true. He started playing varsity for St. Cloud Cathedral as an 8th grader and was playing D at that point. He was a a guy that the Gophers started keeping an eye on when he was only 13 or 14 years old, kind of a prodigy.
Same number of letters, just needs to replace the last 4 letters on the jersey, he'll have to have 5 in his jersey somewhere, number 55 would be the first choice, 15's now available as well (thank you Joey Crabb)