In terms of WJC-18 production, the American line of Leonard - Smith - Perreault are "doing things". The top 3 scorers through 4 matchups is that line, wow. A combined 43 points to be exact. Smith is centering the other 2 future first rounders and it begs the question: Is this a franchise changing player?
If you really look into just the stats, while not quite Jack Hughes levels, Smith makes a case for being selected in the top picks in this years draft. The players ahead of him will surely be Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli, but I now can't guarantee that Michkov, Carlsson, or Benson will now go ahead of Will (William?) Smith.
There were some perceived negatives that now look to be by the wayside for me. Smith has gone from being listed at 5-10, to 5-11, to now 6-0 by most publications. The competition factor in his games within USDP / USHL were up and down at times.
No, the negatives are now few for the future Boston College Eagle. His stay there could be as short as one season if all goes well too. A quick pathway to the NHL combined with his game-breaking playmaking hands, IQ, and speed? What teams are going to pass on that at #3, #4, or #5?
From my perspective I believe that Smith is now locking himself into that 3rd-5th selection spot and that means he is a prime candidate for our Chicago Blackhawks. I can already hear "gettin' jiggy with it" at the UC 🤦♂️ .
Here is an excellent breakdown by Recrutes Hockey at their Youtube page.