We’re back with another 2014 draft prospect profile and today we’re taking a look at the one and only Nick Schmaltz of the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL. Isn’t it amazing to see the talent that both the US development team and USHL are pumping out as of late? No longer is the CHL the main North American league for drafting.
Nick Schmaltz finished his final season with the Green Bay Gamblers this past season recording 63 points in 55 games. However teams shouldn’t get too excited as he’s declared he will begin his career at the University of North Dakota before jumping into the NHL. He will begin at North Dakota next season and won’t be ready for the NHL for at least the next three seasons. Despite the fact he might not go until the 20′s in this years draft, there is some talk that Nick Schmaltz might be the most naturally skilled player available in this years draft.
In addition to his time with the Gamblers, he laced up for team USA with the United States Development Team and at both the U18 and U19 tournaments recording 20 points.
What Will A Team Get If They Draft Him?
Any team that drafts Nick Schmaltz will see themselves land a very skilled forward who relishes playing in large games where the spotlight is on. He’s an elite playmaker with great vision and solid hockey sense. What sets Schmaltz is his ability to set up plays in close at high speeds. He’s got a great vision and special hands, add that to his 6 foot frame and he’s very difficult to get the puck from.
While he can easily score goals and take the puck to the net himself, he prefers to set up his teammates and has developed into an elite playmaker. Should he fine tune the other area’s of his game he could wind up as a solid number two centre on an NHL team.
His Underrated skill
For Nick Schmaltz, his most underrated skill has to be his ability to defend the puck. He rarely coughs up the puck when on the rush. If he can’t pull off an impossible pass to a teammate he’s not afraid to drive the net hard while keep the puck under control. With his ability to protect the puck, he’s able to control the game he wants it to be played. He’s a lethal offencive weapon with his ability to protect the puck, make unbelievable plays and force of driving the net.
What Needs To Be Worked On?
Like every young prospect we’ve already covered, Schmaltz could use a little more work on his defence. While he’s not horrible on defence and has shown flashes of being solid, he needs more consistency on the back end. When he’s at his best he is a committed back-checker, is able to get in lanes, and plays a strong game in his own end. However, what he lacks is the consistency. He often stops skating and loses his assignment on defence which only leads into penalty trouble.
Overall Nick Schmaltz is an extremely skilled forward and his defencive awareness will improve with time. He’s headed to the NCAA which should only help his offencive skills and perhaps turn him into more of a goal scorer.