2014 first-round pick Nick Schmaltz is enjoying prospect camp with the Chicago Blackhawks thus far, and says he is excited for the opportunity at hand.
(The organization) is first-class for sure. They treat us like pros. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Taken 20th overall in this year’s draft, the 18-year-old Schmaltz was widely regarded as one of the most talented offensive players available. The right-winger was one of the top scorers in the United States Hockey League (USHL) last season and will play at the University of North Dakota this fall. With the Green Bay Gamblers last year, Schmaltz tallied 18 goals and 63 points in 55 games.
A Wisconsin native, Schmaltz told Blackhawks TV that getting to don the black and red is a dream come true.
I’ve been dreaming of being picked by the Blackhawks organization for a while, so it’s pretty cool to be here. It’s been fun staying downtown and it’s been a fun few days so far.
Blackhawks fans likely won’t see Schmaltz in the NHL for probably another two years – maybe three. Most scouting reports on him point out his need to add size before he can play in the league although many of the same reports point out his vision and knowledge as major assets. His brother, Jordan, who also plays at North Dakota, offered these words on his Nick’s play in a pre-draft interview with NHL.com.
“Nick is a player with a very high hockey IQ, and I think his vision and creativity with the puck are his best attributes,” Jordan Schmaltzsaid of his brother. “In my mind he plays like [Montreal Canadiens forward] Thomas Vanekwith the way he can slow down the game.