Schmaltz looking to have bigger impact with Blackhawks

CHICAGO, IL – Nick Schmaltz is ready to take the next step in his game.

The 22-year-old solidified his place as the Chicago Blackhawks’ second-line center last season and wants to build off the chemistry he and right wing Patrick Kane developed.

“I got on the ice about two or three weeks ago,” Schmaltz said at the Chicago Pro Hockey League on Wednesday. “We’ll get back into it here and I’ll start cranking it up the next couple of weeks. I’m just trying to get stronger and get ready for a big season here.”

Schmaltz had a strong second NHL season, scoring 52 points (21 goals, 31 assists) in 78 games. But to improve, Schmaltz will likely go back to the Darryl Belfry Florida Tactics and Tuneup Camp in August. Schmaltz and Kane worked together at Belfry’s camp last summer.