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2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Will Smith

U18 Ice Hockey World Championship 2023 - Semi Final Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

One year after Cutter Gauthier was a top 5 NHL Draft pick, Eagles fans may get to see another BC prospect be picked in the top 5. Incoming freshman Will Smith is projected to be picked somewhere between 4th and 7th this year. This makes his most likely landing spots San Jose, Montreal, Arizona, or Philadelphia (where Gauthier is headed when he goes pro).

Smith is an offensive powerhouse, scoring 51 goals in 60 games for the U18 team last season, along with recording 76 assists. He also recorded 42 points in 20 games with the USNTDP in the USHL and 20 points in 7 games at the World Junior Championship. He picked up a number of accolades this season, including U18 WJC Best Forward and U18 WJC Most Valuable Player.

Outside of being a high scorer, Smith is known for his strong and fast skating and his impressive stick handling. Spending a year or two in college should also allow him to build up some muscle, which will improve his defensive game and get him ready for the NHL. Like Gauthier, Smith is a player that likely won’t play a full 4 year college career, but it will become easier to project when he might leave once we know which team he’ll be going to.