How Nick Schmaltz Compares To Chicago Forwards 

Nick Schmaltz recently signed with Chicago, adding much needed depth to the forward group. I recently projected how Blackhawks prospects would score in the NHL. One of those prospects being Nick Schmaltz. 

With the new forward addition, I thought it would be important to show how Schmaltz’s scoring projections compare to his fellow teammates. Expectations are very high for him, so I wanted to show what people should realistically expect.

First let’s check in on his goal scoring. This chart shows the total number of goals each player would have scored if they played a full 82-game NHL season. For Chicago players, I took their 2015-16 stats and increased goals to show 82-game totals. For example, Richard Panik scored 6 goals in 30 games with Chicago. Over an 82-game stretch, that would be 16 goals as shown below. Kruger never scored a goal, so his 82-game total is zero. Schmaltz’s number is his 82-game NHL projection based on how well he performed in college. 

As you can see, one should have low expectations when it comes to goal scoring. Schmaltz isn’t known for putting the puck in the back of the net, and he only projects to light the lamp 10 times next season. That’s just one more than Andrew Desjardins. If you expect Schmaltz to come in and score a bunch of goals, prepare to be upset.

But Schmaltz is still a great prospect and it shows with his playmaking as illustrated by his assist projections below.

Nick Schmaltz is projected to record 32 assists, that’s one more than Jonathan Toews! While Schmaltz may not score often, we can expect to see him setting up many goals next season.

Overall, we can probably expect Schmaltz to produce on par with how Andrew Shaw and Teuvo Teravainen performed last season. Other factors will be in play that could limit him like which lines he plays on and lack of power play time. 

Being a playmaker, hopefully Q puts him on a line with some goal scorers. I’m not sure if he would work as top line LW, because Hossa isn’t the goal scorer he once was, Toews never shoots the puck anymore, and as we now know Schmaltz isn’t touted for his goal scoring either. A top line that can’t score? Chicago doesn’t need that. Then again, maybe Toews and Hossa can rebound with a playmaker like Schmaltz on the wing.

A third line, scoring line of Panik-Schmaltz-Motte would be interesting to see. Both wings can score, like to drive to the net, and can be set up by the playmaking of Schmaltz. Maybe Chicago could get some scoring for their bottom-6 this season.

In the end, the main point of this post that I want to drive home is this:

Don’t freak out when Nick Schmaltz doesn’t score all the goals. He isn’t a sniper. Maybe he will develop into an elite goal scoring threat eventually, but don’t expect much goal production this season.