Jordan Schmaltz will forego his final season of collegiate eligibility. The North Dakota defenseman has signed an entry-level contract with the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues have signed 2012 first-round pick, defenseman Jordan Schmaltz, to a three-year, entry-level contract. pic.twitter.com/JgPZt7J9v1— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 28, 2015
St. Louis drafted Schmaltz, a native of Verona, Wisconsin, with the 25th overall pick.
Schmatlz led all UND defensemen with 28 points (4G-24A) in 42 games as North Dakota won the NCHC regular season and advanced to the Frozen Four for the second consecutive season. (He also out-scored his brother, freshman Nick (a 2014 first round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks), by 2 points.) The 6'2", 194 junior was named to the all-NCHC first team for his efforts.
SB Nation College Hockey had Jordan as the fifth-best NHL prospect playing college hockey each of the last two seasons. From 2015:
A first round pick by the Blues in the 2012 NHL Draft, Schmaltz returned to North Dakota for his junior season in part to play with his younger brother Nick who is a freshman at North Dakota this season. Schmaltz has the ability to take over games with his skating ability when he needs to, but more often stays within his team's system and plays solid, reliable defense. Schmaltz's excellent backwards skating and near-perfect gap control make it impossible to beat him one-on-one. He's also a strong puckhandler, and a good passer, which has helped him rack up a lot of assists this season.
His departure is the first move in the Brad Berry era. Berry replaced Dave Hakstol, who was hired last week by the Philadelphia Flyers after 11 seasons at North Dakota.
Schmaltz's signing with the Blues means all 2012 first round picks with collegiate ties (Jacob Trouba, Michael Matheson, Schmaltz and Brady Skjei) have signed with their club. It also ends an era for Schmaltz and college hockey. The now 21 year-old originally committed to Wisconsin back in 2008 as a 14 year-old.