25-Year-Old Right Wing – Washington Capitals
Devante Smith-Pelly Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Capitals in July of 2017.
Smith-Pelly had an assist in Saturday's 6-1 rout over the Canadiens.
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Devante Smith-Pelly: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The Devils will be hoping history repeats itself, as Smith-Pelly is the second underwhelming young Anaheim draft pick they’ve acquired in hopes of a breakout. It worked out beautifully with 30-goal man Kyle Palmieri, and early returns have been promising in this case as well. Smith-Pelly scored eight goals in just 18 games with New Jersey after coming over in a trade with Montreal, finishing with a total of 14 in 64 games between the two clubs. He’ll have to win a top-six role in camp, but if he does, the 24-year-old could very well pot 20-plus goals.
A former second-round pick, Smith-Pelly has shown legitimate offensive game in the AHL, but has mostly taken on depth-line work at the NHL level. That role resulted in a meager 20 points over 74 games last year, including only three points in 20 games after coming over to Montreal via a trade with Anaheim. He's again slated for bottom-six ice time as the likely third-line right wing, and considering the Canadiens don't generate a lot of offense from their depth lines, any fantasy value Smith-Pelly offers this year will likely be more closely related to his physicality, as he dished out more than 200 hits last season.
Despite limited playing time, Smith-Pelly put up a personal best in points per game last season, then capped that off with five points in his first-ever playoff run. If he can stay healthy, Smith-Pelly could be a significant contributor for the Ducks this coming season, especially if he secures the port side of the second line beside new Duck Ryan Kesler. Just beware his advanced stats. He put up really poor possession numbers last year and if that continues, his production and his plus/minus rating will take a hit.
Smith-Pelly went pointless in the seven games that he played in the 2012-2013 season, but still has the potential to destroy opponents and change games with his bent for leather approach. Unfortunately for him, the Ducks might not have room for him on their lower lines until 2014-15. Monitor his season in the AHL -- he'll be a useful banger when he gets here and the kind of guy who'd be a perfect fit as protection for a small yet talented forward on a scoring line.
Smith-Pelly is the proverbial bull-in-the-china-shop and that's exactly what will make him beloved, both on the ice and in the fantasy arena. His ceiling isn't huge, but has the speed, skill and size to be either a second-line power winger or an abrasive, banging third liner. This season, it'll be the latter and there, he could deliver close to 30 points and 150 hits. But in a few years, he could be bringing home 50 points and all those (and more) hits.