Vision: Smith sees the ice exceptionally well. He shows a high-level understanding of where his teammates are and how he can get them the puck in nearly any situation, and he possesses the passing accuracy required to do just that. He’s an old-school puck-moving defenseman who realizes that the puck moves faster than he ever could.
Offensive IQ: Beyond his strong playmaking instincts, he makes clever use of his shot and positioning to support the attack. He likes to walk the offensive blue line to open up possibilities, and while his shot isn’t exactly thunderous, he manages to sneak it through traffic time and time again.
Assertiveness: He doesn’t stick to traveling east-west either. If Smith sniffs a chance to jump into the play and outnumber the opposition, he will. His passing and sense of timing make him a serious threat in the offensive zone. Despite his age, he shows no hesitancy and total belief in his abilities. He’s cool as a cucumber with the puck on his stick.
Strength: Similarly to many young puck-movers, Smith hasn’t developed an NHL body yet. He stands 5’11” and weighs 175 pounds, which can be an issue in the trenches. Puck battles are an adventure, and unless he’s already moving, retaining possession is quite difficult for him. Another 10 pounds would do him a world of good.
Defense: His defensive flaws don’t just boil down to size or a lack thereof. Smith’s positioning often leaves much to be desired, as he’ll get caught staring at the puck and lose inside leverage in front of the net or in rush situations. He’s a willing defender, but he focuses too much on the action and not enough on his assignment.