DeKeyser and Lashoff are supposed to be good defensively. They're both defensive based defensemen. Smith hasn't been good defensively throughout his career. It's been one of the main things working against him, "needs to get better defensively." He's been our highly touted defensive prospect for his offensive capability. It's the same reason why people can't expect DeKeyser to throw huge numbers up offensively, it just hasn't been apart of his game. Now, with both examples, it doesn't mean they can't get better at it. I think given the situation we're in right now, Smith has had to change his game up quite a bit. He can't just be 100% offensively minded, and work his pinches like he did in the A. He needs to learn this medium, along with being in a top 4 pairing instead of a top 6 pairing. Given his situation, honestly, he hasn't been that bad. On top of all of this, the guy seriously hasn't even played enough games to equal a full NHL season. He's basically over half a full season in, without playoff games included. You can't expect him to be fully up to speed, especially defensively.
I agree with you, he's an offensive defenseman. The problem is, he hasn't been all that good offensively either. I'm not just talking about playing in his own zone. The guy doesn't pinch smartly, turns the puck over in transition CONSTANTLY, and rarely shoots when in the offensive zone. Again, he'll get better I know. But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect more out of Smith given what he brings each night, given what he was supposed to bring, and given how other young guys have played.
Plus give him a good defensive minded partner for a while, like a DeKeyser, and he'll look much different vs. having him partnered up with Quincey.
Dude, Quincey can't be the whipping boy here. Aside from the first few weeks Quincey has been solid defensively. And his game has no bearing on Brendan's boneheaded turnovers, bad pinches, and poor shot selection. Brendan makes bad choices on the ice and lacks a degree of situational awareness. He may develop it, but it's not unfair to expect more of it from him, even if he is a rookie.