In early July, Blues fans were given an opportunity to submit questions to Jordan Schmaltz
, the Blues' first round draft pick (25th overall) in 2012.
Schmaltz split last season between the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers and Sioux City Musketeers, ranking second among USHL defenseman with 41 points (10 goals, 31 assists) in 55 games. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Schmaltz is the first player since the 1994-95 season to be named to the All-USHL First Team in consecutive seasons. He will attend the University of North Dakota in the fall.
Below are his answers to some of the questions we received.
1. What was your initial reaction to being drafted by a division rival? I heard you grew up a Blackhawks fan if I'm not mistaken. – Cathy Crowley, Odessa, MO
Jordan Schmaltz: You kind of put all that aside once you hear your name called. It’s an unbelievable feeling, and I couldn’t be happier and it was one of the best moments of my life. Once I heard my name called, I became an instant Blues fan.
2. What is one thing you are looking forward to seeing in St.Louis when you come here? – Jennifer Kleist, High Ridge, MO
JS: Hopefully in a few years, I’ll come to training camp and meet all the guys and have a chance to make the team. That’s what I’m most looking forward to.
3. How would you describe what kind of overall game you play and how quickly do you project your entry into the NHL and St.Louis Blues? – Dan Endres, St. Louis, MO
JS: I think I’m an offensive defenseman. I can play the power play and I think I can distribute the puck out there. I have no timetable and I’m in no rush (to get here). When they think I’m ready, that’s when I’ll know. No timetable right now.
4. What was the first thing that went through your head when you heard your named called by the Blues? – Andrew Graczyk, St. Charles, MO
JS: It was pretty surreal. I couldn’t really believe it. I was kind of in shock. Everything was moving in slow motion walking up there. It was one of the greatest feelings ever.
5. What is the one thing that you look most forward to for this upcoming season with the Fighting Sioux? – Mark Keiser, Waterloo, IL
JS: I think we will have a really good team. A lot of veteran guys, so getting a chance for a national championship I think is the ultimate goal.
6. Who or what has been the biggest influence in your career? – Almedin Mulasalihovic, St. Louis, MO
JS: I think my parents, I’d say, just driving me to the rink every day. I played in Chicago, and I’m from Madison, Wisconsin, so it’s a two-hour drive to practice one way. I think my parents and their commitment helped tremendously with my development. We had practice twice a week, so they’d have to drive two hours one way.
7. As you look back on playing in the USHL, how did it prepare you for taking "the next step" and who was the toughest player you competed against? – Mark Farland, Waterloo, IA
JS: The USHL was a great developmental league. We went up against high-end guys night in and night out. The competition was great, the depth of each player and each line is huge when you compete against the best players night in and night out. The best player I played against would probably be Daniil Tarasov from Indiana. He’s a great player.
8. Being a member of the Green Bay Gamblers and the Sioux City Muskateers, how will your experiences in the USHL help you both mentally and physically in the National Hockey League? – Gosha Svir, St. Louis, MO
JS: I think I came in as a boy when I was 16 years old. I had to learn how to do a lot of things by myself, and I came out as a young man I believe. I think just learning to be more independent will one day transfer into me living on my own and making my own living in the NHL.