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NHL teams draft 3 with ND ties, including 2 incoming University of North Dakota freshmen

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GRAND FORKS, North Dakota — Two incoming freshmen at the University of North Dakota and a Minot native were selected in the National Hockey League draft that wrapped up over the weekend.

The Chicago Blackhawks picked Nick Schmaltz in Friday's first round, at No. 20 overall. The 6-foot, 172-pound center has spent the past two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League. He is the 16th player in the history of the UND program to be a first-round selection.

Schmaltz's brother, Jordan, is a junior defenseman at UND and was a first-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2012. Nick Schmaltz's family ties extend beyond the hockey program — his father, Mike, and two uncles lettered in football at UND in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

St. Louis on Saturday picked incoming UND freshmen Austin Poganski in this year's fourth round, 110th overall. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound winger has been playing for the USHL's Tri-City Storm. He is the 161st player in UND history to be drafted by an NHL team. UND's roster for the upcoming season has 14 players who are NHL draft picks.

Minot native Alex Schoenborn was picked in the third round of the draft, 72nd overall, by the San Jose Sharks. The winger has been playing for Portland in the Western Hockey League.

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