Rookie tournaments around the league are underway, with various teams putting their youngesters up against each other to determine readiness and sometimes NHL futures. For Chicago, today is the second of back-to-back matchups, and one of the notable names isn’t participating in the game. Nick Schmaltz, the recently signed NCAA standout was a late scratch from today’s matchup, as Scott Powers of The Athletic reports. Schmaltz was a big part of the game last night against the Blues, and is expected to make his NHL debut at some point this season.
After two seasons at the University of North Dakota, Schmaltz (the Hawks’ first round pick from 2014) is set to make an impact for a Chicago team that has seen many home grown talents leave due to salary cap restraints over the past few years. If he can slide into a scoring role like he did with North Dakota – the 20-year old put up 46 points in his sophomore year in only 37 games – he’ll help to replace the offense that Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw will be taking with them.
- After surprisingly dropping to fourth overall in this year’s entry draft, Jesse Puljujarvi is already making an impact for the Oilers at their rookie camp. After a three point outburst last night against Vancouver, Puljujarvi is one of the hottest topics in the city of champions. He’ll sit out today though against Calgary, though it’s believed he’s not out with an injury. If the Finnish winger develops as most expect him to, Edmonton may have another franchise forward on their team to step into the shoes of the recently departed Taylor Hall.
- As Bryan Burns of NHL.com writes, Adam Erne will be heading into his fourth rookie camp with the Lightning, after injuries have derailed the early part of the former second-round pick’s career. This time, the winger isn’t just trying to make an impact on the NHL club, but stay healthy enough to compete in a full professional season. An elite scoring threat at the junior level, Erne put up 29 points in 59 games last season with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.