North Dakota rising sophomore forward Nick Schmaltz has signed with the Chicago Blackhawks, the club announced on Sunday. Schmaltz was a first round draft selection of the 'hawks in 2014.
Schmaltz had a breakout second year with the Fighting Hawks, centering the 'CBS' line with Brock Boeser and Drake Caggiula and registering 11-35-46 in 37 games played, while helping North Dakota to their eighth national championship.
Schmaltz waited well into the summer before making a final decision. The deciding factor may have come last week when, up against salary cap concerns, the Blackhawks traded regular forward Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina, opening up two spots in Chicago's line-up, and increasing the likelihood that Schmaltz spends more time next season in the NHL.
We ranked Schmaltz as the eighth-best NHL prospect in the NCAA last season, with this scouting report:
For further reading, here is a more in-depth scouting report from this past November.