NHL Draft Preview: Ty Smith
Spokane Chiefs defenseman Ty Smith scored 73 points, including 59 assists, in 69 games during the 2017-18 regular season, cementing his place as a top prospect for this month’s 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas, Texas. He is consistently ranked as the top prospect coming from the Western Hockey League this year.
Selected by the Chiefs with the first overall pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, the Lloydminster, Alta. product has not disappointed. As a rookie 16-year-old, he posted 32 points (5G-27A), good for 13th among all WHL rookies and third among 16-year-old players.
Smith entered his sophomore season with the attention of NHL scouts and responded with a dynamic campaign that saw him rank second among all WHL defensemen in points and seventh in plus/minus (+44). He set a franchise record for points in a single game by a defenseman with seven (2G-5A) vs. Prince George on February 23. His year ranked sixth in Chiefs history in points by a rearguard.
Adding to an already strong international resume, Smith served as captain for Team Canada at the 2018 IIHF U-18 World Championship as well as Team Orr at the 2018 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
Smith is a smooth-skating defenseman known primarily for his ability to read the ice and make plays offensively, while playing a responsible and steady defensive game. A leader at every level he’s played so far, Smith shows good awareness in all areas and consistently avoids mistakes while creating scoring chances. He has excellent edge control and uses angles well to neutralize puck carriers.
From Future Considerations:
Smith is a poised puck-moving blueliner who dictates play…skating is efficient, smooth and generates impressive levels of speed…transitions from defense to offense quickly…looks to join the rush regularly…excels with the puck on his stick…moves the puck smartly and quickly, with an efficiency […] coaches dream who will do whatever is needed to help the team…an elite two-way defender with top-pairing upside in the NHL once he does fully develop. (July 2017)
Smith is another smaller, skilled defenseman who will be selected in the first round and showed some very good offensive instincts while posting three goals and 27 points on just the power play this season. Overall, Smith piled up 73 points in 69 games while displaying very strong offensive instincts on the first pass out of the zone, a really strong knack for creating offense on the power play and enough of everything else to be a catalyst NHL D-man.
A silky-smooth puck mover who is the cream of this year’s Western Canadian draft contingent, Smith is an outstanding power-play quarterback with excellent agility and a real nose for the net. There’s some Drew Doughty to his game, especially the way he handles an aggressive forecheck.
NHL Central Scouting (North American skaters): 14th
ISS Hockey: 19th
Future Considerations: 9th
Sporting News: 8th
TSN (Craig Button): 19th
Smith is projected to go somewhere in the middle of the first round, depending on your preferred mock draft. NBC Sports has him going 12th to the New York Islanders, as does SB Nation in their pick-by-pick mock. Sporting News has him headed to Chicago with the 8th pick.
What’s Your Prediction?
Total Votes: 73
Follow the Draft
The 2018 NHL Entry Draft will take place in Dallas on June 22 and 23. The first round will begin at 6:30 p.m. CT (4:30 p.m. PT) on Friday the 22nd, while rounds 2-7 will take place beginning at 10 a.m. CT (8 a.m. PT) on Saturday the 23rd.
TV: NBCSN (Friday; coverage begins at 4 p.m. PT) / NHL Network (Saturday; beginning at 8 a.m. PT)