Red Wings sign Brendan Smith, former top draft pick, to three-year entry-level contract
By Ansar Khan
May 27, 2010, 2:15PM
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have signed defenseman Brendan Smith, their first-round pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft (27th overall), to a three-year entry-level contract.
Smith, a 21-year-old skilled, puck-moving defenseman, spent the last three seasons at Wisconsin. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey this year.
“Brendan improved tremendously in each of his three seasons at Wisconsin,’’ Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a statement. “He was a dominant player at the collegiate level, in particular at his position, and we feel he is ready to take the next step in his career at the professional level. We look forward to having him at training camp in Traverse City in September.’’
Smith is slated to play for the AHL-affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins next season.
Smith (6-foot-2, 190) led the nation in scoring among defensemen this past season, with 15 goals and 52 points. He was named to the All-WCHA First Team and was named WCHA defensive player of the year.
Smith became the first Badger defenseman to record 50 points in a season since 1989-90 and the first to post at least 10 power-play goals in a season since 1979-80. In three seasons at Wisconsin, Smith collected 87 points, including 26 goals.