Last week I touched on one of the lesser talked about prospects in Quinn Olsen so I thought I’d give a quick update. He leads Minnesota-Duluth in assists, points, shots and penalty minutes. Of the top-10 scoring forwards on his team, he has the worst shooting percentage at just 6.1% and probably explains why he has the third fewest goals (4) of those top 10.
Today, my attention is on another Boston Bruins prospect who isn’t getting much focus from Bruins fans, North Dakota freshman Jake Schmaltz.
As of now, North Dakota has played in 21 games and Schmaltz ranks fifth in team scoring on a list where he is surrounded by sophomores and seniors. His 6 goals and 8 assists have come as somewhat a surprise. Also surprising is that he is second on the team in shooting percentage with a whopping 24%. However, among all forwards on the team, Schmaltz ranks second lowest in shots per game with just 25 shots in those 21 games. He leads his team in game winning goals and is second in powerplay goals, so one wonders if he is capable of more if he would shoot more.
The Bruins selected Schmaltz with the 192nd overall pick (seventh round) at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. I talk about these late round picks a lot – those with untapped potential and a long way off from the NHL that will need a lot of development. Under Ryan Nadeau and Don Sweeney and their watchful eyes, the Bruins appear to be finding some success. Let’s be honest, it’s a long shot that a player selected in later rounds make it to the NHL, but the Bruins are putting a lot of thought into the process.
Schmaltz was drafted out of an excellent program with the USHL’s Chicago Steel after scoring 5 goals and 13 assists in 60 games. During the 2019-20 season, he found himself with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL and notched 13 goals and 19 assists in 47 games. He Broke out in 2020-21 where he was named an Alternate Captain with the Gamblers scoring 19 goals and 34 assists in 51 games and named to the USHL third all-star team. He had one season of US High School Hockey in 2016-17 with Edgewood High scoring 19 goals and 25 assists in 24 games.
Schmaltz also has some NHL bloodlines. He is a cousin of Arizona Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz and Jordan Schmaltz who had a taste of the NHL and is now playing in Finland.
Schmaltz is a quick skater with some pretty good agility. He is strong on his edges and can change direction, but he lacks in strength on his skates and that has more to do with his lean 183 pounds on his 6’2” then anything technical. While he is quick, he lacks top-end speed and a separation gear. However, he does have quick bursts that bode well for getting on pucks close. Mechanics are very good but if he could add a little more speed over distance, it would go a long way.
Schmaltz is an accomplished 200-foot player and has been since his days with Green Bay. His hockey IQ, senses and work ethic are well suited for his defensive game. Continued development is paramount and he should get that with North Dakota as I suspect he will finish out the full four years in college.
That same Hockey IQ along with his vision and anticipation goes a long way offensively as well. He finds open lanes and seams almost at will. He gets himself or the puck in those lanes. But it’s his anticipation that is most impressive. He seemingly sees the play develop in his mind before it actually happens and he makes the right play almost 100% of the time, except in some situations I’d like to see him be a little more selfish and take the shot rather than make the pass.
Pretty impressive right? Schmaltz is a playmaking type forward rather then a goal scorer and you need those players as much as you need goal scorers. But will it translate to the NHL? Hard to say at this point as there’s still plenty of developing in his future. At this point, finding a role as a bottom six forward who can kill penalties and help shut down the opposition will be his trademark. But hey, you need those players as well.
Providence Bruins Player Stats
Providence Bruins Goalie Stats
Maine Mariners Stats
Coming up this week:
There were several postponed games last week due to COVID-19 protocols. The KHL is off now until February 22, 2022 so there will be no games for Peter Cehlarik and Roman Bychkov. Cehlarik will likely represent Slovakia at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Brett Harrison has a grueling schedule as the OHL and his Oshawa Generals try to make up postponed games. They play Thursday at home then make the over 4-hour bus ride to Sudbury following the game to play Sudbury the next night. So far, there is only one confirmed postponed game, denoted with an X. Jack Becker plays in two exhibition games this week against Lindenwood on Friday and Saturday.
|ARNESSON||Vs FAR||At LEK||At OSK|
|MANTYKIVI||At KAR||Vs LUK||Vs PEL|
|JELLVIK||Vs MOR||Vs LUL|
|GASSEAU||Vs SC||Vs SC|
|LANGENBRUNNER||Vs SC||Vs SC|
|KUNTAR||At ND||Vs PRO||At PRO|
|BEECHER||At MIN||At MIN|
|LOHREI||At MS||At MS|
|BECKER||At LIN||At LIN|
|SCHMALTZ||At WM||At WM|
|DURAN||At BC||At BC|
|OLSON||At OMA||At OMA|
|MCFAUL||At Dar||At HAR|
|GALLAGHER||Vs VER||Vs VER|
|HARRISON||Vs KGN||Vs MIS||At SBY||Vs KGN|
|MAST||X||Vs OS||At OS|
|LYSELL||At VIC||Vs KEL|
|SVEDEBACK||At CR||Vs GB|
AROUND THE GLOBE
Matias Mantykivi did not get off to a great start in his second professional season with Ilves Tampere in the Finnish Liiga. But he has come on strong after that slow start and is currently on a 5-game point streak in which he has 3 goals and 4 assists bringing his season totals to 9 goals and 14 assists in 37 games. His two-way game is developing quickly and he leads his team with a plus-13.
Oskar Jellvik has a 4-game point streak going on 3 goals and 4 assists. He is tenth in the J20 in points and eighth in points per game. In Top-10 play where he plays only the top 5 teams in the country, he is second in scoring on 2 goals and 3 assists in 3 games. The amazing stat is in 26 league games he is averaging 23:15 TOI as a forward.
Mason Lohrei is here solely on statistics. The rest of his game is coming along just fine and where it is expected to be. But he is pointless in 4 games although he is still second in scoring with Ohio State Buckeyes.
Ryan Mast has 2 goals and an assist in 2 games on the weekend, including the game winner on Friday. He now has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games.
Trevor Kuntar has a goal and 4 assists in his last 7 games.
Peter Cehlarik is pointless in 5 games and the KHL is on a break. It appears as though Cehlarik will be heading to the Olympics to represent Slovakia but by my count, they still have one cut to make. It should do wonders for Cehlarik when he returns to the KHL.
Linus Arnesson is pointless in his last 8 games.
Dustyn McFaul scored his first goal of the season Sunday to end a 5-game pointless streak.
This is what I believe each prospect’s chances are of playing for the Boston Bruins. It is not reflective of what their chances of playing in the NHL are – just the Bruins.