Cole Smith signed a one-year contract with the Nashville Predators on Thursday that will begin with the 2020-21 NHL season.
The 24-year-old undrafted forward had 51 points (24 goals, 27 assists) in 137 games during four seasons at the University of North Dakota, including NCAA career highs of 11 goals and 18 points in 34 games this season. His goal in a 5-0 win against Omaha on March 7 helped North Dakota win the National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular-season title.
"He is a big, strong guy who has gotten better every year," Predators assistant general manager Jeff Kealty said. "If you talk to the people at North Dakota, they just rave about the character traits that he has: his competitiveness, his drive, his physicality, all those ingredients he adds to a team in a winning environment. We feel like he's going to be able to add all of that to our organization."
Smith was an alternate captain at North Dakota this season.