Monday, June 13, 2011

IceHogs Year in Review: Ben Smith

                    Position: Right Wing/Center     Shoots: Right
                    Height: 5'11"                         Birthday: July 11, 1988
                    Weight: 200                          Hometown: Avon, Connecticut

2010-11 Stats
GP   G   A   PTS   +/-   PIM   PPG   SHG   SOG   S%
63   19  12   31      -3     16      5       2      112   17.0

Ben Smith was one of the pleasant surprises on the IceHogs and the Blackhawks this year. He was one of the most consistent players for both clubs.
He spent most of the year with the Hogs, where he was able to grow as a player. The former Boston College Eagle's work ethic is second to none. He gives 100% on the ice and it's quite noticeable. Smith doesn't shy away from physical play and can always be found digging for pucks in the corner. His on ice positioning in all three zones is also great.
The rookie was a very versatile player for the Hogs. Throughout the year, he was used at both wing and center. He was one of their top penalty killers, who led the team in shorthanded goals with two, and was also used on the power play. He's also a great character guy in the dressing room and just an overall nice guy. Smith was named the Hogs' Rookie of the Year on April 9th at the last home game of the season.

Smith made his NHL debut on October 29th against the Edmonton Oilers. He was recalled later on in the year by the Hawks on April 6th and was up to stay. He scored his first NHL goal on April 8th on the road against the Detroit Red Wings. He made his NHL playoffs debut on April 13th in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Vancouver Canucks. In Game 2 on April 15th, he gave the Hawks a shot at winning as he scored two of the Hawks' three goals. The biggest goal of his young career came on April 24th in Game 6 of the series when he scored the game winning goal in overtime to force a Game 7. All Hawks fans will forever remember that goal.
Smith will probably make the Hawks' roster right out of training camp next season. There's a chance he could spend some minimal time in Rockford, but it's doubtful. He'll be a key asset in the Hawks' success next year, considering what he's done in the spotlight already.

Smith in a game on November 9th against the Peoria Rivermen.

Smith celebrating his game winning goal in overtime on April 24th with Marian Hossa. (

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