Team: Spokane Chiefs, WHL
Date of Birth: March 24, 2000
Birthplace: Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada
Height: 5 feet 10 inches
Weight: 170 pounds
The 2018 NHL Draft has its share of top defensemen, and Ty Smith’s spectacular WHL season in Spokane has launched him into the discussion of first-round blueline prospects.
Smith plays a two-way game and is considered by some scouts as the WHL’s beset prospect. He can move and protect the puck, showing vision and smarts beyond his 18 years of age. Smith was given the go-ahead from Spokane’s coaches to join the rush and fire away this year, leading to an eye-popping 59 assists and 14 goals in 69 games.
Smith’s size may concern some teams, checking in at 5’ 10,” 170 pounds. In today’s NHL, speed and patience with the puck can cover up outdated body worries, skills Smith has plenty of. His well-roundedness can fix those gaps that come with not being the biggest players on the ice.
He also won the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year for his commitment to schoolwork off the ice.
One impressive stat, from The Athletic’s Allan Mitchell: Ty Smith’s 1.06 point-per-game rate leads WHL defensement (U18) from 2011-2018, ahead of NHLers like Ivan Provorov, Morgan Reilly and Seth Jones. Something to consider as the first round progresses and teams look for a complete package to pick up for their defensive corps.
“A clean, reliable three-zone defender with leadership qualities and a team-first attitude, he is exactly the guy you want on the ice to kill a big penalty or lock horns with a top-scoring opponents. Wise beyond his years, Smith is almost destined for NHL longevity and has the potential to be a cornerstone piece and one of the top defenders in the league.” – Steve Kourninaos, The Draft Analyst
“The dynamic two-way defender continues to display his full arsenal of weapons with Spokane this season. The former first overall pick in the 2015 WHL bantam draft, Smith is an excellent skater who demonstrates poise and patience with the puck. His outlets are crisp and his head is always up. He’s a player you fall in love with because he always makes the right play.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects
“Smith is a brilliant skater and able to avoid collisions with expert skating and edge work. His outlet passing is splendid, something I always look for in a young player (making and taking a pass is still the quickest route to success) … The NHL is a skating, passing, decision-making league that requires a big brain and great quickness. Smith may not go top 10 but five years from now there may be teams regretting passing over him in the early hours of the 2018 draft.” – Allan Mitchell, The Athletic
69GP / 14G / 59A / 73PTS / 30PIM / +44