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Brendan Smith

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Brendan Smith, our first choice (27th overall) in the 2007 draft is off to a good start to his NCAA career. He has 2 points in his first 2 games and I found this interesting:

Link

Smith is nominally a defenseman, but describes himself as an "offensive defenseman" who likes to be known as a "defensively wise player." The Detroit Red Wings selected him at pick 27.

"I feel a lot of pressure, and I want to feel a lot of pressure," Smith said. "I told coach, 'If you want to put me in that position, I want to do it.' I like being that clutch player in the dire moments, either trying to stop a goal or trying to get a goal, I want to be that guy."

Great prospect we have on our hands. :thumbup:

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To top it off he's attending U. of Wisconsin-Madison; a very good school with strong hockey tradition :thumbup:

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To top it off he's attending U. of Wisconsin-Madison; a very good school with strong hockey tradition :thumbup:

kyle turris is on his team too :hehe:

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Goal and an assist to Smith in his last outing. That means Smith has 2 goals and 6 assists in 7 games, great start to his NCAA career. :thumbup:

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From Day 2 of Prospect Camp 2009.

"Brendan Smith has matured physically (and otherwise) as well, and his puck-rushing ability has gained some defensive prowess thanks to University of Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves' instruction. Smith still plays like a puck-carrying forward who switched to defense at 16 years of age, but his equally lanky body has filled out somewhat, and a slight adjustment in his skating stride, involving a nearly straight-backed upright posture, has subtracted nothing from his explosive stride."

( http://blog.mlive.com/snapshots/2009/07/re...p_09_day_1.html )

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I gotta admit, I've lost faith in this guy over the years. I'm not so high on him anymore, I just hope he can stay injury free this season and show us what he's capable of.

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He's 2+3=5 +1 in 3 games so far. He didn't play one game, but I don't think he was benched because he had a goal and an assist the game before.

Badger junior defenseman Brendan Smith (Mimico, Ontario) did not give Stepan much time to celebrate his goal, as he scored on an unassisted breakaway just seconds later, putting UW up 2-0. The goal took some swift stick handling by Smith, as he skated past Maverick defenders end-to-end, before punching it in for the score.

Edited by Slabby

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He's 2+3=5 +1 in 3 games so far. He didn't play one game, but I don't think he was benched because he had a goal and an assist the game before.

Badger junior defenseman Brendan Smith (Mimico, Ontario) did not give Stepan much time to celebrate his goal, as he scored on an unassisted breakaway just seconds later, putting UW up 2-0. The goal took some swift stick handling by Smith, as he skated past Maverick defenders end-to-end, before punching it in for the score.

Make that 2+7=9 in 5 games. Kid can definitely put up the points.

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http://www.uscho.com/recaps/20092010/m/11/27/uw-msu.php

Smith’s two first period goals set the tempo for No.15 Wisconsin in the opening game of the College Hockey Showcase and his beauty of a third period assist finished off eighth ranked Michigan State, as the Spartans had no answer in a 7-3 drubbing in front of 5,199 fans Friday.

“If we had to choose another captain, I’d choose (Smith),†said senior Michael Davies, who had two goals and an assist. “He leads by example out there on the ice.â€

Smith, the 27th overall pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft by the Detroit Red Wings, had been one of the many high-powered Wisconsin weapons that have been scratching their heads, wondering when the chances would start converting into tallies. His answer started at nine minutes, 23 seconds of the first, taking a feed from sophomore Derek Stepan (one goal, four assists) and chipping the puck past MSU goalie Drew Palmisano (21 saves).

If the first Smith goal didn’t put the Spartans back on their heels, UW’s first of three power play goals on the night did the trick, as Smith chipped in the puck in front of the MSU net to double the lead and put UW (8-4-1) in firm control for the remainder of the game.

“That just deflated the whole crowd and helped us in the first period, because we didn’t give our best effort,†Smith said.

That wasn’t to say the Spartans (9-4-2) didn’t make things interesting on the Badgers. After junior Corey Tropp scored his team-leading 10th goal in the first 15 seconds of the third period, trimming the lead to two and awakening the dormant crowd, Smith, covered by two Michigan State defenders, slid a cross-ice pass to senior tri-captain Blake Geoffrion, who faked low and shot high over senior goalie Bobby Jarosz at 11:42. It extended the three goal lead, it sent Spartans fans for the exits and it extended UW’s unbeaten streak over Michigan State to five.

“Not many players can make that pass,†said Stepan. “He’s got that special ability to make that crisp pass.â€

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A much more offensively minded Lilja?

Shot blocking is something UW assistant coach Mark Osiecki drills into his players defensively from the moment they become Badgers. For a player like junior Brendan Smith, it was something that took some getting used to.

“It was hard my first year, I was like, ‘This is nuts; this is retarded.’ Sometimes it really hurts when you take a slap shot to the wrist or something,†Smith said. “But as the year’s gone on, it’s just engraved in me, it’s a habit.â€

“It hurts and it’s a character thing — it helps out so much because the next time that forward comes down on you, he’s not going to shoot, he’s going to fake it and you can take the puck off him,†he added. “Sometimes it gives him hesitation and it gives you more time to react to what they’re going to do.â€

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Smith was left out of the Hobey Top-3, and though I dont follow college hockey too much, I keep hearing the decision to leave him out is a complete load of crap.

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2010 Prospect Camp Review

http://blog.mlive.com/snapshots/2010/07/red_wings_prospect_camp_assess.html

2 Brendan Smith

Pluses: Sigh. Too many to list. Smith is most definitely a solid 6’2” and has room to put muscle onto an gangly 190-lb. frame. He definitely needs to put on some weight and work on his upper-body strength, but his lower-body strength is reflected in his absolutely splendid skating stride. Smith has an upright skating stride that just gobbles up ice because his core and lower legs are exceedingly strong and he glides along the ice like a forward, mostly because he grew up playing as a forward. He doesn’t lose half a step when he gets the puck, he’s capable of bursts of speed to allow himself to cover up for his mistakes, he can pinch and actually beat his forwards to the net at times, and his abilities to skate sideways/laterally and change direction in a heartbeat are elite.

Smith has fantastic vision and can either find teammates on the rush with seeing-eye passes that almost always hit the tape or allow the receiver to skate into the pass at full speed, or he can carry the puck up the ice himself, lugging it with authority, confidence, and the kind of presence that makes opposing players back off so that he can generate space for his teammates to work with. His vision, sense of urgency in every pass he makes, deftness and plain old savvy…He’s an NHL passer already.

The same can be said of his hard, low shot, which he unleashes on a very sneaky basis. He can truly thread the needle toward the net to generate rebounds down low, he can execute shot-passes efficiently, he knows how to chip the puck out of trouble even if he’s only got one hand on his stick and his snap and wrist shots are almost as hard as his slap shot.

The fact that he’s extremely vocal on the ice helps as he lets players know where they should be to accept his passes, tip in shots, help him clear the zone or get themselves out of jams. His enthusiasm and on-ice leadership are not to be underestimated as he also talks to his teammates early and often on the bench, making sure to give them pats and taps to sometimes congratulate and sometimes console them.

He also has an extremely underrated physical bite to his game, offering efficient and ever-so-subtly-nasty hacks, whacks, cross-checks, and bodychecks that not only seal his opponents to the boards or take them out of action, but also leave them sore and wary of heading toward Smith with their head down. He’s not exactly Niklas Kronwall, but he does offer a Brad Stuart-like efficiency and physical presence.

Minuses: See: his incredible level of talent, which sometimes goes to his head. When Smith simply coasts on his talent, or plays like a hot dog, trying to show off or make the play that would best suit his ego, the passes flutter off his stick blade, shots go wide, and his game loses focus, allowing players to slip by on the rush and allowing opponents to jab rebounds into the net because he’s given them too much time and space. Smith’s been able to get away with mailing it in at times at the college level—though his coaches at Wisconsin, including Mike Eaves and Mark Osiecki, deserve major credit for benching him a few times when Smith just “wasn’t into” playing on certain nights—and as ridiculously talented as he is, he won’t be able to get away with playing when he’s interested in doing so at the AHL or NHL levels.

That’s where the concerns regarding his off-ice incidents with alcohol come in. Smith is a genuinely nice young man who’s gregarious and outgoing, but when he assumes that his hockey stardom equals entitlement, you get the kind of behavior that is at least explainable when you’re a college student, but is not acceptable in any way, shape, or form if you’re a member of the Detroit Red Wings’ organization. I’m sure that Jiri Fischer and the Wings’ management will make sure that he’s committed to growing up both on and off the ice as a Griffin, but they might have their work cut out for them at times.

Potential “upside”: If he keeps his head on straight, he could very well become a 10-goal, 50-point-producing NHL defenseman, an elite first-pair player who could run the power play, helm the penalty-killing unit, mash his opponents and become a superb leader. If he tries to half-arse it or only gives 100% effort when he’s interested, and if he doesn’t continue to get bigger and stronger in the gym, his sure-fire stint in the NHL will be a short one and a stint marked by “what if’s.”

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From their first prospects tournament game 9/11 in which the Wings won 6 to 1.

http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/a2y/comments/red_wings_prospect_tournament_win_lopsided_in_more_ways_than_one/

On a night where Brendan Smith finished at a plus four, he had a rough night, struggling in his own end as he received a rude awakening as to how fast players attack puck-carrying defensemen in the AHL and how hard you can be hit after releasing a pass while flat-footed by #70, Matt Tassone.

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2 Brendan Smith: Up to and including this past summer, the thing that made me worry about Brendan Smith was his propensity for getting caught indulging in alcohol and the fact that he seemed to hot-dog it at times, acting like the kind of player who knew he was so fantastically talented that he could get away with slacking off. Now I see a more mature and level-headed Smith, who’s still a very lean young man despite putting bulk on that 6’2” frame, making the NCAA graduate’s mistake of waiting that extra second to make a pass and assuming that an opposing forward isn’t going to do his best to knock you off your feet and make you hurt because that extra second doesn’t exist anymore, even among your peers.

Smith has literally and figuratively grown up over the past few years, and as University of Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves recently said, he’s still a bit of a “wild stallion” who, and I quote, “Still needs some mentorship” and still needs to “grow up emotionally,” I can at least say that his level of maturity as compared to even this spring is very impressive. He’s growing up, and yes, as he’s a gregarious young man, he’s going to need to be reigned in a bit and reminded that he’s got to bring the Tatar/Raedeke attitude to doing his job, so he’s going to struggle at times this season, but even a year ago, I would have suggested that he couldn’t do it, and this year I really believe that he can. So good on him and bad on me for having preconceived notions.

As far as Brendan as a player is concerned, it’s just adjustments in terms of time and space that he needs to worry about as he graduates to the AHL. The pace of play he’s going to face and his margin for error are far higher (pace) and smaller (error), respectively, but if there ever was a player talented enough to warrant, “We think he could be another Niklas Kronwall” descriptions from the Wings’ management, it’s Brendan. He is an absolutely elite, elite, elite offensive defenseman who skates as fast as the forward he was until he was 16, his vision and playmaking abilities are fantastic, he’s got a great shot, a hard pass, he’s grown in leaps and bounds in terms of his defensive responsibilities and while he’s not Kronwall bombastic, he does indeed enjoy the physical part of his game, and he loves mixing it up and driving his opponents to distraction. He, Landon Ferraro and probably Thomas McCollum are the most naturally gifted athletes out there, and Smith has all the potential in the world to become an elite offensive defenseman at the NHL level. He just has to learn to adjust to the pro game. He’s won me over, and I hope he makes it all the way because he’s fun to watch.

http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/a2y/comments/red_wings_prospects_conclude_tournament_with_a_loss_prepare_for_main_camp/

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http://redwingscentral.com/stories/2010_09/15_Roundup.php

Smith looks to shake 'bad apple' rep

By Sarah Lindenau – RedWingsCentral.com / September 15, 2010

Brendan Smith wants Detroit Red Wings fans to know that no matter what they've heard or read about him, he's not a bad apple.

The top-scoring defenseman in U.S. college hockey and Hobey Baker candidate is turning pro this season with a well-documented history of off-ice issues during his three-year NCAA career with the Wisconsin Badgers.

"Sometimes it's just being in the wrong place at the wrong time," Smith said. "People read all these things on the Internet about me being a bad apple, but I think if you talk to me, you understand I am not like that. I want people in Detroit to know who I actually am and not just what they read in the papers."

Smith, the Red Wings' first-round draft choice in 2007, was most recently charged with disorderly conduct after a fight outside his home this past May. Prior to that, a separate off-ice incident led to him being suspended by his team, while he has been a healthy scratch for "undisclosed reasons."

Despite his past troubles, Smith's NHL talent is undeniable. He could be a dynamic force on the Red Wings' blue line in a few years, if he stays out of trouble off the ice.

Red Wings goaltending prospect Thomas McCollum has a unique take on his ability after getting a look at Smith this week at the annual NHL prospects tournament in Traverse City.

"Smith kind of reminds me of playing behind Drew Doughty," said McCollum, a teammate of Doughty's for two seasons with the Guelph Storm. "He's not quite the dynamic offensive player that Drew is, but who is really? He makes a lot of great plays but at the same time he's very good defensively."

The 21-year-old Smith, who is turning pro this season after a sensational junior year at Wisconsin, is hesitant to the comparison to a Norris Trophy-calibre NHLer.

"I still have some work cut out for me if I want to be like Drew Doughty, but I guess I play pretty similar," he said. "We both play similar styles and we are both young."

Smith piled up 87 points in three seasons at Wisconsin, but led all NCAA defensemen last season with 15 goals and 37 assists for 52 points in 42 games, helping him earn a top-10 nomination for the famous Hobey Baker Award.

He leads the Red Wings with a plus-6 in three games in Traverse City, helping the squad advance to Wednesday's gold-medal game against the Minnesota Wild.

"It's been fun," he said. "There are some great players out here that you don't always see in college but I have been able to keep up with the competition because I would say strength and speed wise it is pretty similar."

The Red Wings have gone so far as to mention Smith's name in the race for the seventh defenseman's spot this season along with Derek Meech, Doug Janik and Jakub Kindl, although there is a good chance he'll open the year in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

"It's kind of a win-win situation for me," Smith said. "Playing with Grand Rapids is unbelievable and playing with Detroit is even that much better. Just knowing that I could be the seventh defenseman is great, but we will have to wait and see what happens."

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