St. Louis decided to bolster their blue line on Friday night, selecting United States Hockey League defensemen Jordan Schmaltz, of the Green Bay Gamblers. The 18-year old weighs in at 6′ 2″, 190 lbs, and was ranked as the 34th overall North American prospect heading into the draft, but was nabbed by the Blues towards the end of round 1. Schmaltz, who will attend the University of North Dakota, was the first player since 1995 to be named to First-Team All USHL in consecutive seasons.
Schmaltz ranked 2nd in the USHL among defensemen with 41 points in 55 games, and registered 7 points and a +/- of 10 in 12 playoff games for the Clark Cup Champion Gamblers. He was widely held as one of the top three offensively skilled defensemen, with great skating ability and quick passing. To be sure, he needs to continue progressing on the defensive end, and focus on getting back in odd-man rush opportunities. Schmaltz will likely be called up after his freshmen season, especially if the Blues face injury problems on the blue line, or if Carlo Colaiacovo, Ian Cole, and Roman Polak underperform again this season.