Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Red Wings pipeline includes Smith

NHL.com has a nice piece about the great job the Red Wings do restocking their pipeline of players during the past decade. This pipeline includes Brendan Smith, who was their 1st round selection in 2007 draft. A quote from GM Ken Holland:

"Growing up he was a winger and he converted to defense, so you know he can skate and handle the puck," Holland said. "He's still learning what to do in his own zone, but we like his natural skills like skating ability, ability to join the rush, hockey sense and his hands. He's got to get physically stronger. His dad is a big man and we're hoping he can grow into his body."

Smith has a lot to prove this year. While he played well on offense last season before injury, his defense (especially being a Dman) has a long way to improve. His classmates McD and Goloubef have passed him by based on their play last season, Brendan has some catching up to do which should be strong motivation. I have no doubt that Brendan will one day man the blue line in the NHL, and hopefully he can start showing us more glimpses of putting it all together this season.