Former Predator and Coyote adds depth at center
Wyatt Smith, who has played in 83 games over the last five NHL seasons with Nashville and Phoenix, has signed a contract with the Islanders.
The speedy and versatile checking center will report to Islanders training camp when it opens on Sept. 12 and is expected to provide the organization with depth at forward. Smith was the fourth-leading scorer last season with the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL), going 19-28-47 with 87 penalty minutes in 69 games.
"Wyatt's a player I've liked for a while," said Islanders pro scout Kevin Maxwell. "He's got excellent speed and a lot of drive, and our feeling is you can't have enough guys like that on the roster. I'm sure he'll get a look with the big club and if he doesn't make it out of camp, Wyatt will be a top guy in Bridgeport who'll be a very effective call-up for us when we need someone on the third and fourth lines. Everyone he has worked with raves about his attitude."
The 28-year old Smith was originally selected by Phoenix in the ninth round of 1997 NHL Entry Draft. After appearing in 54 games for the Coyotes, he signed with Nashville in July of 2002. He netted three goals and an assist in 18 games with the Predators in 2003-04. In 83 NHL games spanning five seasons, Smith has tallied seven goals and eight assists for 15 points and 15 penalty minutes.
A lefty shooter, the 5-11, 200-pound Smith spent four seasons at the University of Minnesota. In 123 games, Smith recorded 67 goals and 129 points. He was named to the 1998-99 WCHA Third All-Star team as a result of his 24 goals and 47 points in 39 games in his junior year.