US National U18 Team/USDP & USNTDP Juniors/USHL
Related: Calum Ritchie
Will Smith is a prolific goal scorer all the way up, who is pacing the USNTDP in one of the best starts in program history. In the first 21 games of the 2022-23 USDP season, Smith already has 17 goals, 26 assists, and 43 points with the US National U18 team, as well as 4 goals, 5 assists, and 9 points in 5 games with the USNTDP Juniors in the USHL. Smith is a crafty playmaking forward with legitimate scoring and two-way upside. He works hard off the puck and attacks with intent, utilizing his puck skills to beat defenders one on one and create space for himself and his teammates. Smith is one of the very best slot passers in the draft and uses impressive puckhandling ability to dodge close-outs, weave off of the wall, and make plays. The Boston College commit has been soaring up the draft rankings and is making his case to be a legit top 10 pick in the 2023 Draft.
Physical Play Great
Offensive Play Great
Defensive Play Great
Hockey Sense Great
1. Crafty playmaking forward with legitimate scoring and two-way upside.
2. He works hard off the puck and attacks with intent, utilizing his puck skills to beat defenders one on one and create space for himself and his teammates.
3. one of the very best slot passers in the draft and uses impressive puckhandling ability to dodge close-outs, weave off of the wall, and make plays through traffic.
Areas of Improvement
1. Despite having a dangerous wrist shot, he tends to look for a pass or to deke more often.
2. Due to his impressive puckhandling ability, he has a tendency to hang on to pucks for too long.
Will Smith is one of the more interesting players to watch this year due to his complete, two-way skill game. He split last season between the USNTDP’s U17 and U18 squads and produced well at both levels. In 35 games with the U17s, he tallied 17 goals to go along with 20 assists and nearly matched that rate with the U18s, scoring 14 goals and 13 assists in 28 games. He also added four more points at the U18 Worlds, earning a silver medal with Team USA. Smith got off to a hot start to the 2022-23 season, putting up 17 goals and 43 points in 21 games with the US National U18 team of the USDP, as well as 4 goals and 9 points in 5 games in the USHL with the USNTDP Juniors. He is a versatile, two-way forward with high-end offensive skills and an offensive creator who plays a responsible game away from the puck. He’s a confident, skilled forward who can play either center or wing and has a great set of hands and playmaking ability. Smith can score, too, as he’s got a very quick, deceptive release and is a very intelligent offensive player, therefore creating lots of scoring chances for himself and his teammates. His game is already very well rounded, he skates well and shows a soft touch in the slot and near the crease. Will Smith is comparable to Trevor Zegras in terms of his offensive abilities but with better defensive abilities. Will Smith has the potential to be a top 6 forward in the NHL that puts up a ton of points and plays in all situations and should be a top 10 in next year’s draft.
Skill: Versatile, two-way forward with high-end offensive skill and playmaking ability
NHL Comparable: Trevor Zegras
NHL Potential: Top 6 Point Scoring Forward
|US National U18||USDP||28||14||27|
|US National U17||USDP||35||17||37|
|2022-23||US National U18||USDP||21||17||43|
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