Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Schmaltz Decommits From Wisconsin

Things in the Wisconsin hockey program continue to go from bad to worse personnel wise. Just heard from Jordan Schmaltz that he has decommitted from Wisconsin and is opening up his recruitment.

Schmaltz, a Verona, Wisconsin native committed to Wisconsin at 14 years old and before even entering high school. He most recently played with the Chicago Mission Midget program and is expected to play next season in the USHL with Sioux City. Schmaltz was committed for 2012.

When asked about reasons for the decommitment, Schmaltz had this to say, "Personal reasons, things have come up lately and obviously the leaving of OZ, but that's no disrespect to the UW coaching staff. I appreciate all coach Eaves did for me and my family at such a young age. I want to visit a few schools before I make up my mind, to make sure it's the right fit."

This is a pretty solid blow to the gut of Wisconsin fans. I think this is the first big blow recruiting wise that we've seen because of Osiecki taking the Ohio State job. I pray that this is the exception and not the rule in the future. The positive is that we've still got plenty of time to fill the hole created by Schmaltz backing out and there will be some very solid options available including a player that I've really liked, and another Verona native Joey Fiala. Fiala could be a 2011 but may wait to play for the Badgers in 2012.

I guess the biggest disappointment in the Schmaltz situation is that he and his family approached the Wisconsin staff about playing there, not the other way around. And they did this all before he was even in high school. I think the lesson to be learned here, one that I've preached over, and over again to young players, is to take your time before committing to a school. There is absolutely no need to make a commitment when your 15, or 14 or whatever.

Before committing to Wisconsin, Schmaltz took an unofficial visit to North Dakota and was planning on visiting Notre Dame as well. In addition, Schmaltz has been drafted in the OHL Draft by the Windsor Spitfires in the 7th round. Windsor is an aggressive franchise with a lot of cash so I would expect them to make a push even though it seems like he still wants to play college hockey. But the favorite here still has to be Osiecki at Ohio State. He obviously THE reason why Schmaltz decommitted, it only makes sense that he would follow him to OSU now.
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