The NHL draft took place Friday night and for the Chicago Blackhawks Friday was already a “garden work” kind of day.
The Hawks took care of business Friday morning by inking goaltender Antti Raanta, forwards Ben Smith and Jeremy Morin to two-year extension deals just hours before the 2014 NHL draft took place.
The Blackhawks originally had the 27th pick in the draft, but according to multiple Chicago Blackhawks insiders they were in talks about a trade with the San Jose Sharks. Turned out there was a trade indeed, the Hawks traded the 27th and 69th picks to San Jose for the 20th and 179th pick in the draft according to the Blackhawks Twitter page.
With their newly acquired 20th pick in the draft the Hawks selected right handed forward Nick Schmaltz, the 18 year old spent the last three seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. He racked up 18 goals and 45 assists, 63 points in the 2013-14 season, his assists were his career high.
According to the Hawks twitter page, NHL’s David Gregory stated “He’s a dynamic offensive player… He has such quick hands and can skate with [the puck] at full speed.”
Schmaltz is listed at 6″0, 172lbs, and is quite known for his ability to move with the puck and to score, a bit similar to a well known current Blackhawk, Patrick Kane.
According to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-times, the “playmaking center” plans to spend a few years playing for UND (North Dakota) before going pro.