Chicago Blackhawks rookie Nick Schmaltz had high expectations for 2016-17. The 21 year-old, former first round selection of the Hawks in 2014 was expected to provide his team with some scoring punch in its top six forward group. While Schmaltz never quite achieved sustained success in that role this season, his six goals and 28 points in 61 games played cannot be considered a disappointment.
When he was named to team USA for the IIHF World Hockey Championships last month, it was hoped that the young sniper would use the opportunity to take the next step in his game. So far, so good. With two points in today’s victory over Denmark, Schmaltz is proving his worth on the ice.
Schmaltz is a reliable player at both ends of the ice and has been one of the most noticeable players on USA’s roster in its first two games. Keep in mind this is a team that features superstar players like Johnny Gaudreau and Jack Eichel. Hawks fans certainly hope that Schmaltz can continue his high level of play, not just in this tournament, but into next season as well.