I wanted to dive into some of the top prospects that will not go in that top 3. We certainly would all love to get Connor Bedard or Adam Fantilli, but the reality is that there are 11 teams that will all vie for those picks. The odds are against us and we need to be prepared to embrace whom Kyle Davidson might select. One player to focus on is USDP / USHL Center Will Smith.
Get all of your "getting jiggy with it" / "this isn't miami" / "fresh prince of hockey" jokes out now. Ok, we good? Moving on. Smith centers the top line for the U17 US team with Ryan Leonard and Gabe Perrault as his wings. This is a dominant line and they destroy other teams almost at will (see what I did there).
Will Smith is the catalyst. He had 47 points in just 26 games and they were playing some top competition of late. At the same stage Devils center Jack Hughes had 48points in 24 games which were unbelievable numbers and made him a #1 overall selection by New Jersey.
Now in the USHL, Smith is driving the line and has 10 points in their first 7 contents. The future Boston College Eagle plays with great pace and has an extremely high compete level on offense..
If you watch the above video, the first thing you'll notice is his vision. It reminds of how Trevor Zegras was in the same program at the same stage. He has the hands that Jack Hughes had at 17, the vision that Zegras had, and shows good (but not elite) skating like a Matt Barzal showed. This is an elite prospect that every Hawks fan should get to know.
Will Smith has been climbing the boards of late and for good reason. I see him as the clear cut 5th best player. He isn't overly big as a prospect (listed 6'0 172lb) but you can already see alot of Barzal / Zegras in his game that should excite any fanbase.