Poised to go in the top-15, Ty Smith has been on scout’s radar for a while now. Leading up to the draft, Smith has been dominant for his Spokane Chiefs team.
He often goes unnoticed when scouts and fans are talking about the high-potential defensemen in the 2018 NHL draft, but he is right there on the same tier as Adam Boqvist, Noah Dobson, and Evan Bouchard. He doesn’t have the skill of Boqvist, or the size of Bouchard and Dobson, but Smith provides a steady hand on the blueline. A well-rounded defenseman that is very good, but master of none.
With that in mind, don’t be surprised in a few years when people are talking about how a team got a steal by taking Smith in the middle of the first round.
Above a point-per-game in the WHL for a defenseman is impressive, let alone a defenseman that just turned 18 years-old in March of this year.
This season in the WHL, he was 2nd in scoring among all defensemen – notably far above our very own Dennis Chowloski (who is two years older).
Since the year 2000, there has only been one U18 defenseman that has more points in the WHL than Smith did this year, that player is Ian White (2001-02). In Pts/GP, Smith is in a similar position as his raw point standings, sitting at 19th among U18 defensemen with his 1.06 Pts/GP – also notably one ranking higher than Philadelphia Flyers stud defenseman Ivan Provorov (1.02 Pts/GP)
If you want a more in-depth stats analysis, I would recommend Jackson McDonald’s breakdown of his game over on CanucksArmy.
It is evident that Ty Smith is an extremely mobile defenseman. Able to use his agility to create offense, as well as cover his own zone well enough to survive. He is not a flashy player, but any team will be happy to have Smith in their top-4 in a few years. Every fan and scout’s dream blueliner.
Fit With The Red Wings
Unfortunately, Smith falls in an awkward position for the Red Wings. He won’t be taken with the 6th-overall pick, but there is no way that he drops all the way down to the 30th-overall pick.
The only situation I could see Ty Smith becoming a Red Wing, is if Holland decides to trade back into the 10-15th-overall range and grab him there, while also acquiring more future assets to grab a highly-talented player in the 2nd-round.
Fans won’t be happy having Smith as the face of this failing season, but don’t worry about that when he eventually puts on the winged wheel for the first time. He would be an excellent addition to the stockpile of defensive prospects the Wings already have. Would certainly be the star among the group.
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