AVON – Avon native Ben Smith is preparing for the upcoming National Hockey League season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Smith, 28, signed a one-year deal with Toronto in May for $650,000.
There was plenty of speculation at the time the agreement was announced in early May that the Maple Leafs signed Smith so he could be exposed in the NHL expansion draft for the new Las Vegas Golden Knights that begin play this October.
Smith, who turns 29 next week, wasn’t selected by the Knights at the draft in June and will be preparing for his third NHL season in Toronto. A year ago, he was picked up the Maple Leafs early in the season from Colorado off waivers and played in 36 games for Toronto, scoring two goals and two assists.
Smith, a center, has played in 237 career games in the NHL in Chicago, San Jose, Colorado and Toronto. He has 29 goals and 25 assists in his NHL career. He won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013.
In 2015, the Blackhawks traded Smith to the San Jose Sharks and he had two goals and three assists in the final 19 games of the regular season. Because the Sharks missed the Stanley Cup playoffs, Smith got a chance to play with the U.S. national team and helped Team USA capture a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships.
Smith, an Avon native, played high school hockey at Westminister in Simsbury. In college, Smith helped Boston College win two NCAA national titles in 2008 and 2010 and earn a berth in the NCAA championship game in 2007.
Ben Smith career statistics
|2012-13||Chicago||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||Won Stanley Cup|
|San Jose||19||2||3||5||Bronze medal at Worlds|