Another Schmaltz is on the way to UND.
Jake Schmaltz, the cousin of former UND standouts and current NHL players Jordan and Nick Schmaltz, gave a verbal commitment to play college hockey in Grand Forks.
“Obviously, I’ve been around the culture and tradition my whole life with my cousins playing here and my parents going here,” Jake said. “I’ve grown up coming here. I did the UND camps when I was young. I know what it’s all about. When they showed interest, I knew I wanted to go here.”
Schmaltz, whose father is former UND football player Marc (1988-91), currently plays for Madison Edgewood Prep and Team Wisconsin U16. He’s 17 years old, about to finish his junior year of high school.
Schmaltz, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound forward, made a visit to campus this week.
UND was the first team to offer Schmaltz. He said he also had some conversations with Denver and Minnesota Duluth.
“I’m just really excited to come here and be part of the tradition,” Schmaltz said. “I know how much it means to everyone here and how much everyone cares. If I can add to that and keep the tradition and hard work and win a national championship when I get there, that would be the best.”
Schmaltz said he is close with Nick and Jordan, who currently play for the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.
“They’re like brothers,” he said. “I see them all the time. I see Nick in the summer almost every day.”
Jake said he called his cousins after making his commitment.
“Jordan was really happy for me and really excited,” Jake said. “Nick couldn’t answer his phone. He’s probably playing Fortnight.”
Jake is a left-handed shot, unlike his cousins.
“I like to think of myself as a playmaker,” Jake said. “A heads-up guy who works really hard. I try to be the energy guy who gets everyone going. I like to look for the pass, but I also like to give a shot threat, too.”
Jake said his plans for next season are still up in the air. If he makes a United States Hockey League team, he'll probably play there. Otherwise, he will go back to playing for Edgewood and Team Wisconsin.
"There isn't a definite plan," he said.