New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has acquired defenseman Brendan Smith from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for the Rangers' own third round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and Ottawa's second round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Smith, 28, has skated in 33 games with Detroit this season, registering two goals and three assists for five points, along with 34 penalty minutes. He is averaging 18:44 of ice time per game this season, which is a career-high, and he ranked fourth among Red Wings defensemen in average ice time in 2016-17. In addition, Smith was the only Detroit defenseman who averaged at least 15:00 of even strength ice time, 1:00 of power play ice time, and 1:00 of penalty kill ice time this season. Smith tied a single-game career-high by registering two points (one goal, one assist) on Oct. 30 vs. Florida, and he tallied his second career NHL game-winning goal on Nov. 10 vs. Vancouver.
The 6-2, 211-pounder has skated in 291 career NHL games over parts of six NHL seasons, all with Detroit, registering 15 goals and 52 assists for 67 points, along with 281 penalty minutes. Smith established career-highs in goals (five), assists (14), and points (19) with the Red Wings during the 2013-14 season. He played in the playoffs in each of the last four seasons with Detroit, recording six points (two goals, four assists) and a plus-one rating in 27 playoff contests.
Prior to beginning his professional career, Smith played three seasons of collegiate hockey with the University of Wisconsin Badgers (2007-08 - 2009-10), where was teammates with current Rangers Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan. In his final season of collegiate hockey in 2009-10, Smith was selected as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in the NCAA and was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, as he registered 52 points (15 goals, 37 assists) and a plus-17 rating in 42 games and helped Wisconsin advance to the National Championship Game.
The Mimico, Ontario, native was selected by Detroit in the first round (27th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.