UPDATE 5:00 PM CST: The Blackhawks have offically announced the signing.
1:17 PM CST: Hine updates, saying that the Teravainen deal helped push Schmaltz from North Dakota. More minutes available for the similarly built player.
12:42 PM CST: Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune adds that it’s a three-year entry level deal for Schmaltz.
10:53 AM CST: According to Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports, the Chicago Blackhawks have signed North Dakota forward Nick Schmaltz. Schmaltz was drafted by the Hawks 20th overall in 2014, but took his talents to the NCAA where he has excelled.
In two seasons at North Dakota, Schmaltz put up 72 points in 75 games, including a whopping 46 (11-35) this season. The Fighting Hawks won the National Championship this season, out-dueling Quinnipiac in the final Frozen Four game 5-1.
The 20-year old Schmaltz will now move into a competition up front for the Blackhawks, who recently sent out Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell and have a number of pending unrestricted free agents. Chicago continues to fill their ranks with talented youngsters, despite losing many excellent players in cap-crunches over the past few years.