3. Zack Smith
Smith makes an AAV of $3,250,000 each season for the Blackhawks. Anisimov was making an AAV of $$4,550,000 each season. Saving over $1,000,000 was important for the team, especially since they spent a lot of money in the offseason.
With the Blackhawks having a lot of bad contracts, they have to move solid players. Smith is the same player as Anisimov. He just is a cheaper option for the Blackhawks.
Smith has done the same thing for the team as the other two players on this list. He kills penalties, he wins faceoffs, and he brings a good depth to the roster. He’s good for around 12 minutes each night, which is average for a depth player.
He is an aggressive player, who kind of goes under the radar to other teams. The downside to Smith is his lack of faceoff success. He isn’t the worse player at the faceoff dot, but he isn’t as successful as Anisimov was. I guess that’s what you get when you cut 25% of his contract.
What benefits Smith is his success in being a two-way player. He isn’t a great player but he does well. He knows his role and he executes it. He isn’t asked much of, that is why you won’t see crazy statistics out of him. He’s one of those players you really have to watch him to appreciate his skill level.