The Nashville Predators announced that they have signed forward Cole Smith to a one-year entry-level contract for the 2020-21 season.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) March 19, 2020
Cole Smith Signed
Having gone undrafted in previous years, Smith had a very strong season with the University of North Dakota. In 34 games, he scored 11 goals and added seven assists for 18 points to go along with 37 minutes in penalties.
Smith loves to use his size to his advantage. Standing at 6’3″, Smith uses his size to screen opposing goalies in front. He is a physical presence in the corners and is not afraid to drive the net to clean up rebounds. Every so often, Smith can also dazzle with his playmaking skills. With a great crisp pass, Smith likes to find others and can set up plays when needed.
Smith is also a great leader in the locker room. Having been named an alternate captain this past season, the senior was always a guy who his teammates looked up to in the dressing room. Having won the Cliff “Fido” Purpur Award in 2018-19, awarded to a player who exemplifies hard work and determination, Smith is a guy that others can certainly look upon when in need of a role model.
What This Means for the Future
Before the entire NHL season was put on hold due to COVID-19, the Predators were struggling as a team. They were being thrown around and could not seem to play their own style of game. Many fans called on them to acquire a physical presence like Wayne Simmonds at the deadline but that ultimately did not transpire.
Fast forward to today and the Predators seem to have listened to their fans. Although Smith will not bring a ton of offence into the Predators lineup, he can still be a guy who plays a grinding role and bring size to their lineup. The game is continually shifting towards small and quick players. The Preds hope Smith can turn into a skilled power forward that can change the game.
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