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Coyotes’ Nick Schmaltz’ Night to Remember

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Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz had a night to remember on Saturday, March 6th when he put up seven points in an 8-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators in a game that was said to carry more 2022 NHL Draft Lottery implications than anything else due to the records of the two teams.  

Schmaltz became the first player in nearly a decade to score at least seven points in a single game since Sam Gagner scored eight in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on February 2, 2012, and just the third player since 2003 to accomplish the feat. 

Schmaltz also became the first player in Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes franchise history to record seven-plus points in a single game and the 13th player in NHL history to have more than seven points in a game without scoring a hat trick.

Schmaltz’s teammates also decided to get in on the action as Clayton Keller had two goals and two assists for four points and Shayne Gostisbehere also had four points, only his came on a goal and three assists. 

Schmaltz’s seven-point game gives him 33 points in 36 games played this season. 

Schmaltz had started to heat up as of late, going into Saturday night’s game he was on a point per game pace through the entire month of February. (Ten points in ten games played.)

Schmaltz is a 26-year-old native of Madison, Wisconsin, and the younger brother of Jordan Schmaltz, who also plays in the Coyotes organization with the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League

He comes from an athletic family as his Dad Mike, and Uncles Marc and Monte, both played football while studying at the University of North Dakota, while his sister Kylie, plays volleyball for the University of Kentucky and his younger cousin, Jake plays hockey for the University of Wisconsin’s U16 program. 

Schmaltz was drafted 20th overall by the Blackhawks in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft out of the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League where he had spent the past two seasons before committing to North Dakota. He was also named to the 2014 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp Roster by USA Hockey in June 2014 and played in the 2013 USHL All-Star Game.  

Nick Schmaltz’s Collegiate Career

During Schmaltz’s first year at North Dakota, he earned rookie of the month honours in October after leading all NCHC freshmen with six points in his first six games. He was also named NCHC rookie of the week on February 22, 2015, after having a two-point performance in North Dakota’s 3-1 victory over Western Michigan on February 20, and earned his first letter following the season. 

As a sophomore, Schmaltz established a new career-high in goals (11), assists (35), points (46), and plus/minus (+44) while averaging 0.95 assists per game. 

Schmaltz tied for seventh in NCHC scoring, ranked fifth in points per game with 1.24 points per game and earned his second letter. 

Schmaltz also represented the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships, bringing home a bronze medal. 

After his sophomore season, Schmaltz made the decision to turn pro and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Blackhawks on June 19, 2016. 

Nick Schmaltz Becomes A Chicago Blackhawk

On October 12, 2016, Schmaltz made his NHL debut, ironically, against the St. Louis Blues. The team that his brother Jordan was with at the time and he would score his first NHL goal three days later on the 15th against the Nashville Predators.

 The Blackhawks assigned Schmaltz to the Rockford Icehogs, their AHL affiliate, on December 4, 2016, and during his time in Rockford, he had six goals and three assists after having only one goal and three assists in 26 games with the Blackhawks. 

Schmaltz was recalled by the Blackhawks on January 4, 2017, and showed a marked improvement in his play as he registered five goals and 19 assists in the final 35 games of the 2016-17 season. 

Nick Schmaltz Becomes an Arizona Coyote

Schmaltz would remain with the Blackhawks until November 25, 2018, when he was traded to the Coyotes in exchange for Brendan Perlini and Dylan Strome. 

Schmaltz’s career was briefly derailed in January 2019 when he sustained a major knee injury that caused him to miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season. 

However, on March 30, 2019, it was announced that Schmaltz and the Coyotes had come to an agreement on a seven-year, $40.95 million contract extension. 

With the trade deadline looming, there is talk that with his improved play as of late, Schmaltz could potentially become a trade piece for the Coyotes as they look to improve their roster but as this article from NBCSports.com says, it’s unlikely that any team would be willing to take on his large contract. 

Related: NHL Entry Draft 2022: Top Prospects

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