Connect with us

NHL

Avon’s Ben Smith is back with Maple Leafs for a second time

Avon's Ben Smith is back with the Toronto Maple Leafs after the Leafs picked up Smith on waivers in October. (Photo courtesy Maple Leafs via Facebook)

Avon’s Ben Smith is back with the Toronto Maple Leafs after the Leafs picked up Smith on waivers in October. (Photo courtesy Maple Leafs via Facebook)

Avon’s Ben Smith is back playing professional hockey on the East Coast. Smith, who began the season with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, is in Toronto for the second time in a year playing with the Maple Leafs.

The Avalanche put Smith on waivers on Oct. 23 with the intention of sending him down to Colorado’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio. But Toronto claimed Smith the next day.

Smith, 28, had played well enough in training camp to earn a spot with Colorado. He had played four games and didn’t have a goal or an assist before he was placed on waivers.

Smith played with four teams a year ago, including Toronto. He began the 2015-16 campaign with San Jose but a concussion in training camp slowed down Smith. He played just six games with the Sharks before getting sent down to San Jose’s AHL affiliate. He was traded in February to the Maple Leafs and was assigned to the team’s AHL affiliate in Toronto. But Smith was called back to the NHL where he played 16 games for the Maple Leafs, scoring two goals and getting four assists.

Smith also had two goals and seven assists in 15 games with the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies helping the AHL squad reach the Eastern Conference finals. An unrestricted free agent, Smith signed with Colorado in July.

This season, Smith has played nine games with Toronto so far and has a goal, an assist and nine shots on goal. The 5-foot-11 right wing had his first goal of the season in a 3-2 overtime win over Edmonton on Nov. 1 at the Rodgers Centre in Toronto.

His goal came in the second period when teammate Nikita Soshnikov threw a pass to the slot from the corner and Smith was in the right position to tap in the pass for the score. Smith also had an assist in a 6-5 win over Vancouver on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Smith will be in Boston on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. when the Boston Bruins host the Maple Leafs at TD Gardens.

Upcoming games for the Maple Leafs include a game tonight in Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. Toronto hosts Nashville on Tuesday, Nov. 15 and Florida on Thursday, Nov. 17. The Maple Leafs will visit Montreal on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Smith played at the Westminister School in Simsbury before going on to play at Boston College.

Smith’s NHL statistics

Regular season GP G A Pts
2010-11: Chicago 6 1 0 1
2011-12: Chicago 13 0 2 2
2012-13: Chicago 1 0 1 1
2013-14: Chicago 75 14 12 26
2014-15: Chicago

               San Jose

61

19

5

2

4

3

9

5

2015-16: San Jose

               Toronto

6

16

0

2

0

4

0

6

2016-17: Colorado

                Toronto

4

9

0

1

0

1

0

2

NHL totals 210 28 24 52

 

Playoffs GP G A Pts.
2011: Chicago 7 3 0 3
2013: Chicago 1 0 0 0
2014: Chicago 19 4 2 6
Totals 27 7 2 9

NOTE: Chicago won the Stanley Cup in 2013. In 2014, the Blackhawks lost in the Western Conference finals.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

More in NHL