By Andrew Allsman| Posted: June 22nd, 2012| Contact |
After waiting nearly three and a half hours for their opportunity to draft, the Blues chose 18-year old defenseman: Jordan Schmaltz with their 25th overall pick.
“It’s awesome," said Schmaltz. "I can’t really describe it, it’s just a great feeling. Just to hear your name called is pretty surreal and I’m excited and it’s awesome.”
Schmaltz split last season between two United States Hockey League (USHL) teams: the Green Bay Gamblers and the Sioux City Musketeers accumulating 41 points (10 goals, 31 assists) in 55 games. He ranked second among USHL defensemen in points (41).
“I think I’m and offensive-defenseman," said Schmaltz. "I can quarterback a power play. I just use my mind, and my hockey-sense is very good as well.”
The Madison, Wisconsin native finished his 2010-11 rookie USHL season as the highest-scoring defenseman in the USHL with 44 points (13 goals, 31 assists). He was named to the 2011 USHL All-Rookie Team and All-USHL First Team as a result of his efforts.
“One thing we really loved about the kid is that he’s a (future) top-four defenseman," said Bill Armstrong, Blues Director of Amateur Scouting. "He’s got some high-end skill on the power play. One of the strongest things we liked about him was that he can run a power play from up top. He really sees the ice well. He is intriguing in all aspects for us. He has the potential down the road to fill a top-four spot for us.”
The 6'2", 189-pound defenseman was ranked 34th among all North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Schmaltz said he will attend the University of North Dakota in the fall.
"Yep (I will be playing at) North Dakota next year. I think it’s the best place for me to develop. It’s a great place to play, the facilities are just unbelievable. I need to get stronger, and I think it’s the best path for me to develop.”
Bill Armstrong says going to college will be good for the 18-year old,
“Much like Ty Rattie (Blues’ forward prospect) and other prospects, he needs to become stronger, so going to college will be a good thing for him.”
Schmaltz was a part of the Green Bay Gamblers' roster when they won the Clark Cup in 2012. He accumulated seven points (two goals, five assists) in his 12 playoff games on route to the Clark Cup.
“He was able to win a championship," said Bill Armstrong. That tells you a lot about a kid at a young age.”
“We targeted him down the stretch, there’s no question about it we targeted him. The credit goes to our staff, they really did the research and this was a guy that we targeted.”
Schmaltz grew up a Blackhawks fan, but that is sure to change he says.
“I actually grew up a Blackhawks fan, but that will change quickly.”
Schmaltz is expected to grow into a top-four defenseman eventually, and while that appears to be a few years down the road, he says he can learn a lot just from watching the NHL players that he most resembles.
“I’d say (my style is similar to) Keith Yandle or Drew Doughty. What those guys can do not only offensively but defensively as well. I think I need to get better defensively but watching those guys I can take some tips from them.”
“They play a puck-possession game, they like to hold onto the puck and make smart plays, and that’s kind of how I like to play.”
Blues' rounds 2-7 picks
- Sam Kurker (56)
- Mackenzie MacEachern (67)
- Colten Parayko (86)
- Nicholas Walters (116)
- Francois Tremblay (146)
- Petteri Lindbohm (176)
- Tyrel Seaman