Nick Schmaltz, Blackhawks Prospects Impress At WJC

Three Blackhawks prospects are still alive as the semifinal round of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships will be played on Monday. Finland will face Sweden (9 AM ET) and the United States will take on Russia (1 PM ET). Both games will air live on NHL Network.

Representing the United States, forward Nick Schmaltz has been superb. He has posted five points in five games and was named Team USA’s Player of the Game after registering one goal and two assists in a 7-0 elimination round win over the Czech Republic.

In four games for Sweden, defenseman Gustav Forsling has two power plays goals, one assist and has been credited with 16 shots on goal, which is tied for third on the roster. He picked up five of those shots on net in Sweden’s 6-0 win over Slovakia to advance to the semifinals.

For Finland, defenseman Joni Tuulola picked up his first point of the tournament and finished with a plus-three rating as Canada was eliminated.

A fourth Blackhawks prospect participated in the tournament. Forward Radovan Bondra finished his tournament representing Slovakia with one goal, eight shots on net and two penalty minutes.

8 thoughts on “Nick Schmaltz, Blackhawks Prospects Impress At WJC

  • January 4, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Predicting- Joni Tuulola- will be best of 2015 Hawks picks!!!

  • January 4, 2016 at 8:26 am

    He’d better be able to play Winger because suddenly the Blackhawks have an insane amount of young depth at the C position and only 1 C spot available.

    The ideal ideal situation -in my mind- is having 2 of these young Centers emerge as starters going into next year. That way you easily have space to resign Shaw and Kruger.

  • January 4, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I had just mentioned Bondra for the 1st time on this website the other day and there he was. Bondra is a guy that scouts have really started to keep an eye on and apparently he hasn’t let them down. Finding players in late rounds that are NHL talents isn’t easy but this 5th rounder seems to be a player to keep an eye on. Reminds me of the early 90’s Wings when they seemed to find late round gems year after year. Very exciting!

  • January 4, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Schmaltz is a center who may need to play winger at the next level, at least until he gets bigger/stronger ala Teravainen. After a pretty lackluster freshman season at N.Dak, he is having a very good sophomore season with tons of assists. Wilson has him playing left point on the first PP unit and you can really see how good his vision and passing is. Competes very well over entire 200′ which is a marked improvement because the knock on him last year was that he didn’t consistently play hard in the neutral and d-zones.

    Forsling has a big time shot but his skating needs work.

    Tuulola is a dirk horse but as a late round draft pick it would be a bonus is he turns into a NHL player.

    Same with Bondra who is big but doesn;t have NHL skating ability (yet).

    Finns just eliminated the Swedes in a very competative (2-1) game. Both Forsling and Tuulola played OK but didn’t stand out.

    Schmaltz and USA take on Russia at noon (CDT) and it’s televised on the NHL channel.

    I love the WJC tourney – great stuff.

  • January 4, 2016 at 11:17 am

    ER- I have been watching as much of WJC as possible…

    Bondra- actually has decent straight line speed, but bad hands and effort-imo

    Forsling – great shot, almost tied game in final seconds… skating was OK… thought he “Bickelled” the puck and made some soft passes/late passes at times (that part reminded me of Cden in WJC- where I thought he was bum)

    Tuulola- reminds me of Hammer!!! + skater, + in gaps, + size, Moves the Puck to the right space/person…. (Fin team- really well coached, and just faster skating team– Hope USA can get past Russia- so we can get measure of how good the USA players/prospects are)… Fins- are loaded w/ speed/gap control/ and some size to boot! Really like- Sebastian Aho!!! speed/moxy

    Schmaltz has been good- and much improved in “compete” level

  • January 4, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Hey Wall, stop trying to make “Bickelled” a thing. It’s not catching on. We all get it, Bickell sucks

  • January 4, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    G Train- are you suggesting I cancel my order of the “Bickelled It” bumper stickers and go back to the “#29 Handcuffs” stickers??? I thought I was going to be rich!

  • January 5, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Schmaltz with 3 assists today as the US smoked the Swedes 8-3. Forsling with 0 points and a -1 was one of the better d-men for Sweden today but it’s hard to look good when your team gets blown out.

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