Arguably the best name in the draft, Jordan Schmaltz comes in next a number 34. Schmaltz has already committed to North Dakota for next season, rather than playing for the Windsor Spitfires. He began his 2011-2012 USHL season as a member of the Sioux City Musketeers before asking for a trade just nine games into the season. He spent the rest of the year with the Green Bay Gamblers and the team would eventually go on to win the Clark Cup.
Schmaltz would prove his defensive value in the playoffs, finishing with a plus-10 rating in the postseason for the Gamblers to go along with 7 points in 12 games. In his previous year with the Musketeers, Schmaltz was the leader in goals, assists, and points amongst defensemen and was named to the USHL all-star and all-rookie teams.
Weight: 189 lbs
Born: October 8, 1993
What People In The Know Know
Schmaltz, 18, an elite skater with a stride many call pretty to watch, had his breakout last season when led USHL defencemen in scoring in his first year out of midget. The physical part of the game is the bigger work-in-progress since he carries only 189 pounds on a slender 6-foot-2 frame, although many observers praise his defensive awareness.
Scouts love size but for the lanky Schmaltz that’s something that may discouraging to some. “His height right now, in a way, is detrimental,” said one scout. “But he has figured out ways to be a dominant force.”
Once Schmaltz fills out his frame and learns to leverage it, the upside becomes scary.
On a deeper team he’s still producing, using his power play acumen and smarts for weapons. Schmaltz also excels at puck control and uses his stick to defend first. He’s not a physical d-man, but he knows how to break up plays at the right time.
Is it fair to say scouts notice him? “He had the puck half the game,” said one. “It’s hard not to.”
From The Horse’s Mouth
Schmaltz could be an ideal fit for teams looking to add some offensive depth to their blue line but those looking for a stay at home defenseman should probably stay home (I made a funny).
Schmaltz should get the call to the podium in the early to mid-second round. Personally, I like him for the Montreal Canadiens at 33 (or they could gamble and hope he drops to 51) as he would give them a nice, balanced defensive pair going forward with PK Subban.