Chicago Blackhawks top prospect Nick Schmaltz signed a three-year entry-level contract after his sophomore season at North Dakota. For Schmaltz, his sights are now set on cracking the Blackhawks lineup at the NHL, which would mean playing with his favorite player growing up -- Patrick Kane.
Nick Schmaltz: "My favorite player was Kane growing up."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 10, 2016
Good lord, I'm so old. #Blackhawks
Schmaltz, 20, grew up in Verona, Wisconsin and played for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL from 2012 to 2014 before being drafted by the Hawks with the No. 20th overall pick in the 2014. Surely, Chicago being an hour-and-a-half closer than Minneapolis helped Schmaltz's rooting interest for the Hawks growing up.
He'll have every opportunity at the team's prospect camp this week and at training camp in September to try to take Teuvo Teravainen's old job. He scored 11 goals with 35 assists in 37 games, and scored the game-winning goal in the NCAA semifinal against rival Denver before winning the national championship to cap his collegiate career.