The Panthers signed Smith to a five-year extension worth $25 million in 2016, but they dealt him just one year into the deal after he responded with just 15 goals and 37 points in 80 games, making double-digit declines in both of those categories compared to the year before. Consistency has been a problem for Smith, who’s been on a roller coaster in terms of point totals in his past four seasons -- he’s cracked 50 points twice in that span, but hovered around 40 in the other two campaigns. With the Golden Knights, Smith is assured a top-six role and a spot on the top power-play unit, but he won't have any elite playmakers to set him up unless his young teammates develop very quickly. Only eight of his 15 goals were scored at even strength last year, though it is promising that he has four consecutive seasons of double-digit power-play points. His historical trend says Smith will have a bounce-back season, but it'll be difficult to accomplish under the circumstances.
Smith’s name often gets lost in the shuffle due to the logjam of young talent up front for the Panthers, but the 25-year-old is coming off a career-high 25 goals and his second 50-point season in three years. He and Jaromir Jagr are clearly the team’s top two options at right wing, so expect them to appear on the first and second line in some order throughout the season. The 2009 third-rounder doesn’t have the pedigree of some of Florida’s more highly drafted forwards, but he plays an effective two-way game that makes him a viable fantasy option across many formats. He’s also been highly durable so far in his career, having missed only one game over the last three seasons.
After a strong season in 2013-14 with the Bruins during which he scored 20 goals and put up 51 points, Smith backslid last season. While he still managed to put up 13 goals and 27 assists, the fans in Boston became frustrated with what seemed like unrealized potential by the 24-year-old winger. Smith was particularly effective on the power play during his career-best year, scoring six goals and adding eight assists, and while he tallied 10 power-play assists last season, he was only able to score one goal with the man advantage. With Smith's development hitting a road block, the Bruins elected to deal him to Florida, where he figures to slot into the top six on the right wing. This season should go a long way toward determining what direction Smith's career may go. If he can regain the form he displayed two years ago, he'll establish himself as a long-term building block for the Panthers, and become a nice fantasy option in the later rounds of standard leagues.
Acquired by the Bruins in the Tyler Seguin deal last summer, Smith was one of the team's most pleasant surprises in 2013-14, displaying good stick skills and speed, while mostly working on the team's balanced second line, along with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. In the process, Smith racked up 20 goals and 51 points in 82 games, to go along with a plus-28 rating. While he won’t provide the unexpected fantasy value that he did last season, Smith should maintain utility in 2014-15, given that he remains on track to see duty on one of the B’s top lines, as well as the teams’ power play.
Smith appeared in 37 games with Dallas last season, recording three goals and nine points in that span. He also saw action in 45 games for the AHL Texas Stars 2012-13, recording 14 goals and 35 points. He’ll compete with a slew of others for a third or fourth line wing slot, though he’s a player to watch in training camp, given his notable offensive instincts.
Smith completed a solid NCAA career last year, netting 30 goals in his final season at Miami (Ohio). He's expected to begin the year with the Texas Stars (AHL) with Dallas' addition to Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr over the summer, as the Stars would prefer for him to skate 20 minutes a night instead of six to eight as a third- or fourth-line option in Dallas.
Smith exploded for 28 goals and 26 assists in 39 games for Miami (Ohio) in his sophomore season after a 8-12-20 effort the year prior. He projects as a potential second-line scoring option if he continues to develop physically.
Smith will enter his second season with Miami (Ohio) after a successful junior career. He played well as a freshman (20 points in 44 games) and projects as a possible second line winger at the NHL level.