Nashville – The San Jose Sharks have selected Will Smith with the 4th overall pick. Smith spent last season with the USNTDP, where he scored 51 goals, and 76 assists in 60 games. Smith was also named the MVP of the U18s, where America won gold over Sweden.
“Mostly, these dangles serve Smith’s ends as a playmaker. His instinctual handling skill, with feints and deception aplenty, opens up ice for himself and his linemates, and he has the touch as a distributor to connect every time. He made life all too easy for his linemates at times.
You don’t score 50-plus goals without the ability to find twine yourself, though, so don’t discount Smith’s ability to finish the job himself, either. Sure, he can put a goaltender into the spin cycle, but he’s also a capable off-puck scoring threat, probing for shooting opportunities and timing his arrivals into space perfectly before sending one- and two-touch shots on goal.” – Elite Prospects Draft Guide.
The San Jose Sharks look to continue their rebuild by building down the centers with Filip Bystedt last season and Will Smith this year. Smith will need to work on his defensive game while at Boston College, but the upside of a potential Trevor Zegras or Jack Hughes light was too much for the Sharks to pass up.
Smith is expected to spend next year at Boston College with Ryan Leonard, who was picked 8th by the Washington Capitals, and Gabe Perreault, who is expected to be a top-15 pick.