2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #18: Nick Schmaltz

Brother of Blues prospect Jordan Schmaltz, Nick is a skilled forward who has committed to the University of North Dakota for next season. He's been drawing raves in the USHL, and might be a nice addition to Columbus' depth down the middle.

Name: Nick Schmaltz
Position: C
Team: Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
Date of Birth: February 23, 1996
Place of Birth: Verona, WI
Height/Weight: 6'0 / 172 lb.
Shoots: Right

When St. Louis took Jordan Schmaltz in the first round two years ago, some scouts were already saying that his brother might be even more impressive once reached draft age. Despite his relative lack of size compared to Jordan, Nick has done an impressive job in measuring up to that prediction. He's quick, he has great hands, and has been showing that he can match up against the best in the world when he was given the chance to compete at the under-18 World Juniors as part of team USA.

Scouting Reports:

What separates Nick from his peers is his special hands and vision which allows him to make plays at high speed or in tight. He has the ability to set up his linemates when no options are apparent. - The Hockey Writers

In watching Nick, it is easy to see where the excitement comes from. He is a quick, flashy forward, with good offensive tools that should make him a major point producer this season. He has good hands and is quick with the puck. His vision with the puck is excellent, and he finds his teammates well. He sees the ice well and creates scoring chances with good creativity and puck-movement, especially on the power-play where he ranked second on the Gamblers in scoring (7 goals, 11 assists, 18 points).

Nick doesn't have the size that his brother has, and you can bet he'll be focused on adding some muscle to his frame this off-season to help combat that. His play away from the puck is a bit worrisome as well and will be closely monitored by NHL scouts this year to see how he's progressed in that department. - The Scouting Report
Why He'd Be A Good Fit In Columbus

Columbus has started to develop some real depth down the middle, but there's no such thing as too many highly skilled centres, especially one who seems to be developing a solid two way game. The fact that Schmaltz is headed to the NCAA would also give him the opportunity to build up his body and round out his game, which might be a reason to consider him, particularly if he should slip into the second round.
Here's a nice little playlist I found with some highlights, starting with a news article produced by one of the local Green Bay news stations.

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