Chicago Blackhawks prospect Nick Schmaltz is ranked No. 8 on SB Nation College Hockey's Top 100 NHL Prospect list.
Schmaltz, 20, has scored 10 goals with 34 assists in 35 games during his sophomore season at North Dakota. He tallied two of his 34 assists against Northeastern in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Schmaltz and fellow Hawks' prospect Luke Johnson play against NCHC conference foe Denver in the national semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Hawks drafted Schmaltz with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
Here's the SBNCH breakdown:
Schmaltz made a big leap from year one to year two in college hockey, going from a talented, but young supporting player to centering one of the most dominaiting lines in college hockey this year.
Schmaltz has always been a pass-first playmaker. While that is where he feels the most comfortable, he's put in a lot of work over the past year to become a more complete player. That effort yielded results as he doubled his goal total from five to 10 this year. He's also accepted more defensive responsibility, as evidence by his move to center, and has worked hard to become a more consistent night-in, night-out type of player.
The Hawks have eight prospects on the top 100 list, as Schmaltz joins Luc Snuggerud (No. 22), Fredrik Olofsson (No. 30), Tyler Motte (No. 33), Chris Calnan (No. 63), Dennis Gilbert (No. 71), Anthony Louis (No. 77) and John Hayden (No. 91).