Schmaltz shines at the World Jr. A Challenge | The Scouting Report

The World Junior A Challenge was held in Yarmouth for the second consecutive year and the 2013 edition of the tournament featured no shortage of intriguing NHL calibre talent. Here are three players who showed especially well in this year's event.

F Nick Schmaltz (USA)

The 2014 NHL Draft prospect followed in brother Jordan’s footsteps, showcasing him in front of loads of scouts at the tournament. Schmaltz led the tournament in points and set a tournament record with 12 points (four goals, eight assists). It became evident early in the American's first game versus the Russians that he was poised for an excellent tournament. The Green Bay (USHL) centre was easily the best player in the tournament as his creativity and offensive zone vision was on full display for all to see. Forming a trio with Buffalo second round pick Connor Hurley and 2015 prospect Kyle Connor, Schmaltz was a force all tournament and was the leader of the team's offense. The 6-foot forward has seemingly entrenched himself as a top 30 pick in 2014 and will be off to the University of Notre Dame in 2014 to join his brother Jordan.

G Maxim Tretiak (Russia)

The Tretiak name is one that is no stranger to the hockey world. As the grandson of legendary Soviet goaltender Vladislav, 17-year-old Maxim Tretiak is quickly affirming himself as an impressive goaltender in his own right. The late birthday goaltender will not be eligible until the 2015 NHL Entry Draft but it's safe to say his performance in the World Jr. A Challenge has put him on the map with NHL scouts. Despite an 8-3 loss against Team USA in the team's second game of the tournament, Tretiak rebounded well and showed strong mental toughness as the Russians advanced to the Gold Medal Game for the first time in the tournament's history. The 6-foot-3, 203 pound netminder has strong lateral agility for his size and should garner consideration as a high draft pick in 2015.

F Connor Hurley (USA)

The 2013 Buffalo Sabres’ second round pick had a very impressive week in Yarmouth where he and the aforementioned Schmaltz had their way with every team.  Hurley put his strong playmaking skills on display and proved why he heard his name called in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft last June. Finishing the tournament with 10 points, Hurley is not afraid to engage physically and is able to separate himself from defenders with his superior stickhandling ability. Sabres fans can be assured that the talented forward is developing nicely and has potential to become an offensive center in the NHL. Next season, he will join World Junior A Challenge teammate, and fellow Sabres’ draft pick, Cal Peterson at Notre Dame where he will see at least a couple years of further seasoning.

Tags: 2015 nhl draft | 2014 nhl draft prospects | 2014 nhl draft | Connor Hurley | Maxim Tretiak | Nick Schmaltz | 2015 nhl draft prospects |

2014 NHL Draft Rankings

1. C Sam Reinhart Kootenay Ice
2. D Aaron Ekblad Barrie Colts
3. C Michael Dal Colle Oshawa Generals
4. C Leon Draisaitl Prince Albert Raiders
5. C William Nylander Rogle
6. LW Nick Ritchie Peterborough Petes
7. D Haydn Fleury Red Deer Rebels
8. D Roland McKeown Kingston Frontenacs
9. LW Sam Bennett Kingston Frontenacs
10. C Jared McCann Soo Greyhounds

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