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Smith Ready For The Next Step

The defenseman had 73 points in the WHL this season

by Scott MacDonald / is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22-23. Defenseman Ty Smith is the No. 14-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the 16th overall selection at the draft.

Even with a bevy of talented blueliners in this year's draft class, Spokane Chiefs defenseman Ty Smith is making a name for himself among the pool of prospects.                                                                                                           

Smith is ranked No. 14 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of North American skaters, and is the sixth defenseman listed.

 At 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, Smith is one of the smaller rearguards in the draft but his ability to use his size and speed is something that can't be measured.

Smith recorded 73 points (14 goals, 59 assists) this season, the second most among Western Hockey League defenseman, and an impressive improvement from his 32-point campaign in 2016-17.

Among Smith's accomplishments during the campaign was a historic seven-point performance (two goals, five assists) against the Prince George Cougars on Feb. 23, breaking a 32-year-old franchise record. 

The rear guard also owned a team-high plus-44 rating and he was named a WHL Western Conference First Team All-Star.

Video: Ty Smith Scouting Report

In addition to his game on the ice, Smith took his time in a classroom just as seriously. He earned the Daryl K. Seaman Memorial Trophy as the WHL Scholastic Player of the Year award.

"It means a lot," Smith told of the honor. "Growing up as a kid, my family was pretty strict with me on school and hockey. I knew the better I did in school and the faster I got stuff done, the more time I'd have on the ice."

After his WHL season ended, Smith was named to Team Canada's roster for the IIHF U-18 World Championship. During the round-robin play, the Canadian defense held opposing teams to a tournament-low 13 goals en route to a first-place finish in Group A during the preliminary round.

It was not the first time the D-man represented his native country as he served as an alternate captain and helped Canada win gold at the 2017 U-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. Smith also filled the role of captain at the 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games, where he recorded two goals and three assists and Canada earned the silver medal.

Although the average height and weight in the NHL is a little over 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, Smith is out to prove that size isn't everything.

He is expected to be taken in the first round of this year's NHL draft and what the burgeoning blueliner may lack in brawn, he makes up for in brain, play on the ice and his natural leadership ability.  

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