Like Hayes, Nick Schmaltz was selected with a first-round pick that did not initially belong to the Blackhawks. On the day of the NHL Entry Draft in 2014, the Blackhawks decided to trade up a few picks and selected Schmaltz. In doing so, they packaged the 27th overall pick with a 2014 sixth-round pick and sent them to the San Jose Sharks for the 20th overall pick and a 2014 third-round pick. With their shiny new 20th overall pick, Schmaltz became a member of the Blackhawks organization.
Schmaltz spent the 2013-14 season as a member of the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL. He scored 63 points in 55 games, which led the team. Following his draft year, he shifted his game to the NCAA level. Schmaltz spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons with the University of North Dakota. Both years were incredibly productive for his growth as a player. As a result, the Blackhawks offered Schmaltz his entry-level contract after scoring 46 points in 37 games.
Schmaltz was immediately an impact player for the Blackhawks. He spent two full years thriving under a moderately successful Blackhawks team. Then, unfortunately, the Blackhawks began a rapid decline. Schmaltz was traded to the Arizona Coyotes on November 25th, 2018, for Brendan Perlini and Dylan Strome in a desperate attempt to refresh the team. He became one of the Coyotes’ most productive players in a sea of struggling on the offensive production side of things. While he may have been a valuable middle-six player for the Blackhawks, Strome has taken that role up nicely. If anything, this trade was one of the most balanced ones Bowman made during his time as general manager.
Schmaltz’s best year was the 2019-20 season, where he scored 45 points in 70 games with the Coyotes.