The Chicago Blackhawks could be adding a forward from the University of North Dakota other than former first-round pick Nick Schmaltz in the near future. Drake Caggiula, one of Schmaltz's linemates for the Fighting Hawks this season, has commanded "high interest" from Chicago, according to 670 The Score's Jay Zawaski.
This is intriguing because it's not the first time we've heard Caggiula's name tied to the Hawks. He's been speculated as a possible target for the team as an undrafted free agent in the spring given his strong performance as a senior at UND. Being the linemate of Schmaltz -- one of the Hawks' top prospects -- certainly doesn't hurt, either. That growing chemistry would be interesting to watch if the two found themselves playing in Rockford together next year.
Caggiula has been one of the top scorers for North Dakota this season. He's second on the team in goals (15), assists (15) and points (30) over 23 games. He's taken advantage of the impressive playmaking skills of Schmaltz, who has three goals and 24 assists in 22 games, to become one of the Fighting Hawks' best players. The only player on UND with more points than Caggiula and Schmaltz is freshman Brock Boeser, who was the No. 23 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Canucks.
Caggiula also has some serious skills. Look at this play from January against Alabama-Huntsville:
WHO ELSE BUT DRAKE CAGGIULA??
Last year, the Hawks signed several players, including forwards Tanner Kero and Kyle Baun, as undrafted free agents. Caggiula will surely command interest from other teams once he finishes this season with UND, but given the Hawks' appeal as a franchise and his ties to Schmaltz, they should have some advantages in convincing him to sign if they choose to do so.