The St. Louis experienced a renaissance in their
hockey team, the Blues.
After firing Davis Payne because of a rocky start
and replacing him with well-respected coach Ken Hitchcock, the Blues dominated
the Western Conference of the National Hockey League and end the regular season
in second place.
The Blues are looking to build upon their success
from the 2011-12 season by building through the draft.
At the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, St. Louis built their
defensive system when they selected Jordan Schmaltz, who is currently enrolled
at the University of North Dakota.
Prior to attending UND, Schmaltz suited up for the
Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League. He scored seven goals
and chipped in 28 assists and impressed NHL scouts enough to be a first round
Schmaltz is an offensive-minded defenseman, who is
an excellent passer, with crisp first passes.
In his freshman year with the Fighting Sioux,
Schmaltz has one goal and one assist in 12 games.
While he has exceptional offensive ability, there
are plenty of areas of his game that need to improve.
The title of offensive defenseman correctly
describes Schmaltz as his defensive game is really lacking.
His skills in his own end and defending overall need
to improve if he wants to land a job in the NHL.
Schmaltz has the size to be a physical presence and
play the body on the ice, but does not use his frame enough.
I think Jordan Schmaltz could be a power play
quarterback in the NHL, but he needs at least four years of college hockey is
needed for Schmaltz to develop his game and enhance his potential.
Tomorrow on the Prospect Preview, Tampa Bay
Lightning prospect Artyom Sregeev will be profiled. Also, I will post my
Johnstown Tomahawks Weekend Preview.