St. Louis Blues Sign Jordan Schmaltz to Entry-Level Contract


The St. Louis Blues boosted their organizational depth on Thursday, announcing the signing of defenseman Jordan Schmaltz to a three-year entry-level contract. Schmaltz, who played the past three seasons at the University of North Dakota, was the 25th overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Schmaltz, a 21-year-old who measures in at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, had a somewhat disappointing junior campaign for the team formerly known as the Fighting Sioux. He had four goals and 24 assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-11 and eight penalty minutes over 42 games. There was some speculation that he could return for his senior season at North Dakota, and there was growing worry that he would ultimately refuse to sign with the Blues.

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Schmaltz seems destined to begin the 2015-16 campaign with the AHL Chicago Wolves and will probably get at least one season to become accustomed to the pace of the professional game. He’ll likely get the opportunity to push fellow blueline prospects Joel Edmundson and Jani Hakanpaa down the organizational depth chart, but Schmaltz will have trouble surpassing defensemen Petteri Lindbohm and Colton Parayko, both of whom endeared themselves to the organization during 2014-15, anytime soon.

The Blues may replenish their defensive corps entirely in-house this offseason, as veteran free agents Barret Jackman, Zbynek Michalek, and Chris Butler are unlikely to return. Lindbohm and trade deadline acquisition Robert Bortuzzo are expected to step into regular roles, and if the Blues don’t sign a mid-level free agent to serve as the seventh defenseman at the NHL level, there may be an opportunity for a player like Parayko, Edmundson, or eventually Schmaltz to seize an NHL role.

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