Sunday, September 7, 2008

Men's Player Previews: #7 Brendan Smith

Vitals:

Position: Defensemen
Year in School: Sophomore
Shoots Left
Height: 6-2
Weight: 174
Hometown: Mimico, Ontario
Previous Team: St. Michael's (OPJHL) in 06/07

NHL Considerations: 1st round pick (2007) of the Detroit Red Wings.

07/08 Stats: 22 games, 2-10-12, -5, 26 PIM
06/07 Stats: 39 games, 12-24-36, 90 PIM

08/09 Role: 2nd or 3rd EV pairing, 2nd PP pairing

07/08 Recap: Following his selection at the end of the 1st round of the 2007 NHL draft, Brendan went strong out of the gates last Fall and really showed his offensive skills in Dayton, OH and against Robert Morris. While Brendan showed a wealth of offensive skills for a defensmen, he didn’t show as much defending his own net last year. His pairing w/ Kyle Klubertanz to start the season was probably not the best decision for his growth, as he needed a stronger defensive presence to compliment his offensive skills. Brendan seemed to get down on himself following poor play as well, something he needs to shrug off in the future. Right after the Christmas break, Brendan suffered a back injury which ended his regular season.

08/09 Thoughts: Big year coming up for Brendan. His draft status comes w/ high expectations, and unlike his sophomore teammates Ryan McDonagh and Cody Goloubef who have begun living up those expectations, Brendan needs to takes a step forward this year. There is no doubt that Brendan has offensive skills and is a great skater, now he needs to start combining that w/ a strong defensive game. Brendan hasn’t played a game on the blue line since January, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that his work w/ Coach Osiecki has elevated his play. Though Brendan is only a sophomore, Jamie McBain is the only upperclassmen on the team, and he will need to step up and be a leader on the blue line. As 60 has pointed out a few times, it seems in interviews that Brendan is always worried about the future (aka when he’ll crack into the pros). If Brendan worries about one game at a time this season instead, his future will unfold all by itself and he’ll be skating in Detroit in a few years.

Prediction: 30 games, 4-13-17

Photo from uwbadgers.com