Devante Smith-Pelly appeared in his first NHL season with the Ducks in 2011-12. He became the second member of Anaheim’s 2010 draft class to play in the league, joining defenseman Cam Fowler.
Making the team out of training camp, Smith-Pelly played in his first career game in the season opener against Buffalo on October 7 in Helsinki, Finland. At an age of 19 years, three months and 23 days, he became the third youngest Duck to appear in an NHL contest on that night. One day later in Stockholm, Sweden, he netted his first career point by assisting on an Andrew Cogliano goal against the New York Rangers.Devante Smith-Pelly Video Highlights
He would pot his first career goal in unorthodox fashion, as a Fowler shot deflected off Smith-Pelly and into the net on November 9 against Nashville at Honda Center. Originally, Fowler was given credit for the goal, but it was later reversed by officials after replays confirmed the puck went in after hitting Smith-Pelly.
In mid-December, the choice was made to allow Smith-Pelly to play for Team Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championships on a loan. His time in the tournament was drastically cut short though, as he fractured his left foot while blocking a shot in Canada’s opening contest against Finland. The injury kept him out of the Ducks lineup until February 21.
Smith-Pelly would finish off his first campaign in the league with seven goals, six assists and 13 points in 49 games played. He led all Ducks rookies in apperances, goals, assists, points, shots (66) and time on ice (590:09). His 104 hits tied for seventh on Anaheim, while ranking 11th among all first-year players in the league.Highlight
Toward the end his rookie campaign, Smith-Pelly began to flourish on the scoresheet. He tallied six of his 13 points during the season in the final 10 games on the 2011-12 schedule. Within that, the 20-year-old achieved his first career multi-point game in the league during a 5-4 shootout loss at Vancouver on April 3. Less than five minutes after earning an assist on a Rod Pelley goal in the second period, Smith-Pelly potted a goal on a tip-in off a Bobby Ryan pass.By the Numbers16
, the number of players from the 2010 NHL Draft who have already made their debuts in the league. While 11 of those have been first round picks (including Fowler), Smith-Pelly is one of the five to come from later rounds. He was chosen by Anaheim with the 42nd overall selection in the second round. Looking Forward
After reaching the NHL in his first professional season of hockey, Smith-Pelly will be looking to build on that experience moving forward in 2012-13. The winger played on several different forward lines as a rookie, including some time with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf toward the end of the season. Come training camp, there should be a good battle among team forwards for coveted spots in the lineup and Smith-Pelly will certainly be in the mix. He is under contract with Anaheim through the 2013-14 season on the entry-level deal he agreed to on December 29, 2010. Personal
Lists pizza as his favorite food, with his top choice coming from Pizza Hut. After seeing “Avatar” a couple of times in 3D at the theater when it was released, Smith-Pelly said that is his favorite movie. The first car he owned was a 2007 Jeep SRT-8, which he still has. A fan of all types of music except country, he calls Drake his favorite artist. If he did not play hockey, he would possibly have tried his hand at baseball. A big fan of the sport, he roots for the Toronto Blue Jays. Keep up with Devante Smith-Pelly on Twitter at @smithpelly23
. He Said It
“My goal was definitely to make the team and stay here. The year went great and I’m happy I got a chance. Now, I’m just trying to work on everything. You can always improve. My focus is to not to be complacent with the fact that I did play last year. You see that sometimes. Guys will play when they’re young and then they just get complacent in the next year. I definitely don’t plan on doing that. I just plan on getting better every day and helping the team.” – Devante Smith-Pelly