Not many players are as steady and even-keeled as Reilly Smith. The Golden Knights top line forward put together arguably his finest NHL season in 2017-18. Smith and fellow linemate, Jonathan Marchessault, played a major role in William Karlsson’s Lady Byng award-winning campaign. It’s hard to imagine Vegas’ success without Smith’s leadership, or his 0.90 points per game average.
“We want character people… good leadership, great character and good work ethic.”– Gallant on Reilly Smith’s team influence
What We Know About Reilly Smith
- Selected 69th overall (DAL) in 2009 Draft
- Left-handed forward
- Previously played for DAL, BOS, FLA
- Played NCAA hockey for Miami University
- Brother of NY Ranger’s Brendan Smith
- VGK Stats: 67 Games Played, 22 Goals, 38 Assists, 60 Points, Average Time On Ice (17:55), +31, 30 Even Goal Assists
- 2017-18 Career Highs: Assists (38), Points (60), +31, Points Per Game (0.90), Goals Created (22), Game-Winning Goals (4), Power Play Goals (7), Shorthanded Goals (1), Takeaways (57), Shootout Percentage (66.7%)
It’s easy to understand why a player like Smith is so valuable to a contending team. He’s not as flashy or dramatic as his two linemates, but he always seems to score or assist on game changing goals. Also, he’s noticeably one of the Golden Knights’ most consistent two-way players. Adding to both special teams, Smith registered one shorthanded goal and seven power play tallies. He’s also one of the more level-headed players and always seems to say the right things, even after a Vegas loss.
“You got to nip those in the bud so they’re not stretched into five minutes or ten minutes. I think a lot of reasons why we, or other teams get into those stretches is because we’re not making a simple pass. Sometimes you’re trying to over complicate and guys are tired, so it starts to snowball. “– Reilly Smith after second straight loss to LAK in late February
What We May Not Know About Reilly Smith
- Born April, 1st 1991 in Mimico, Ontario
- CCHA First Team Honors 2011, 2012
- NCAA First team All-American 2012
- 2010 NCAA Frozen Four Appearance
- Scored 122 points in 121 NCAA games
- Traded to Boston as part of the Tyler Seguin blockbuster trade to Dallas
- Led the team with greatest number of prom invites last season
“If there were invites I didn’t see I’m sorry to decline, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to make it.” – Reilly Smith on prom invitation signs at T-Mobile Arena
In the postseason, Smith performed to his highest capabilities. After missing some time down the stretch, the left-handed forward collected a point in 15 of the Golden Knights’ 20 playoff games. He led the team in points (22), points per game (1.1), even-strength assists (11), and power play assists (6).
Up until the very bitter end, the calm and collected Smith gave fans a glimmer of hope.
“To win three games in a row is tough in this league, but at the start of the season, if you told anyone in this locker room, ‘If you win three games in a row, you win the Stanley Cup,’ I think everyone would be excited about that opportunity.” – Reilly Smith prior to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals
Another element to Smith’s game is his hockey IQ and playing the game the right way. He’s a good role model on and off the ice for aspiring young players. Smith protects the puck, skates with his head up, stick to the ice, and retreats to his own zone when he needs to. He makes small yet critical decisions that positively affect the game look easy on the ice.
For Vegas to go on and be a perennial playoff team, Smith will have to continue his success. The Golden Knights management made investments and have high expectations for their top line. Any lack of production from Smith, Karlsson or Marchessault will negatively affect Vegas’ postseason chances. It’s that simple. That unit sets the tone for the rest of the Golden Knights offense.
Last season, Attorney Adam Kutner gave away tickets to the Vegas Golden Knights home games, along with Zamboni rides during the intermissions. As an avid hockey fan, Adam Kutner looks to keep the VGK spirit alive by providing weekly news updates about the team’s offseason. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news on our beloved Golden Knights.
Facebook: Adam S. Kutner & Associates