B’s Beat: Reilly Smith Has Been A Pleasant Surprise

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When the Bruins sent Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars on the 4th of July this year, it left many fans and players speechless. To give up on such a young player with such a high ceiling is completely unprecedented. Going along with Seguin to Dallas was Rich Peverley, and defensive prospect Ryan Button. In return, the B’s received Loui Eriksson, an excellent yet underrated two way winger with 30 goal ability.

Eriksson was the clear centerpiece for the Bruins in the deal involving Seguin, and he has played well, but it is Reilly Smith, one of three prospects also acquired by Boston, that has stolen the show thus far.

Smith was drafted by the Dallas Stars with the 69th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, after a standout college career with the University of Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. In three NCAA Division-1 seasons with the RedHawks, Smith was a point per game player with 122 points in 121 games. Among those 122 points is 66 goals, 56 assists, and a +63. He as also an all CCHA first team all star in 2011 and 2012.

In his first pro season, he also enjoyed success with the AHL’s Texas Stars. In 45 games, he scored 14 goals, 21 assists, and a +13. With numbers like those, it is no surprise to have seen smith join the NHL Stars midway through the year. Smith enjoyed moderate success in his rookie campaign, scoring 3 goals, 6 assists, and an even +/- rating.

Smith made the Bruins’ NHL roster out of camp and earned a spot on the third line next to Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg. He played well to begin the season, and he eventually moved up to the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson, when Brad Marchand continued to struggle. Smith has enjoyed success with the Bruins and is quietly sitting at 5th on the team in scoring with 1 goal, 5 assists, and a +5 in the first 10 games of the season.

Peter Chiarelli was wise to make sure he had the young 22 year Smith was included in the Seguin/Eriksson deal, though I don’t think even he anticipated Reilly having the impact he has so far this season. He has certainly been a pleasant surprise so far for the Bruins, and at 22 years old, Smith could be a contributor to this team for a long time.

You can follow me on Twitter here: @Mattjacob64

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