Over the past few weeks, we’ve put you on our list of the most exciting young players in the Penguins.
We are now at the top.
Check out 22-year-old Ty Smith, a 2018 first-round draft ready for a change of scenery.
#25: Nolan Collins
#24: Colin Sawyer
#23: Jonathan Groden
#22: Ty Glover
#21: Kirill Tankov
#20: Judd Caulfield
#19 Corey Andonovsky
#18: Jordan Frasca
#17: Isaac Bellevue
#16: Taylor Gautier
#15: Alex Nylander
#14: Nathan Leger
#13: Tristan Bros
#12: Ravis Anson
No. 11: Lukas Swikowski
No. 10: Philip Lindbergh
No. 9: Philip Hallander
No. 8: Valtteri Puustinen
#7: Joel Blomqvist
No. 6: Sam Bolin
#5: Drew O’Connor
No. 4: Ryan Boehling
#3: Owen Pickering
No. 2: PO Joseph
No. 1: Ty Smith
2021 standings: NR
Age: 22 (March 24, 2000)
Height/Weight: 5’11 inches/179 lbs.
Acquired via: July 16, traded with the New Jersey Devils, for John Marino and 2023 third-round pick
During his NHL debut on January 14, 2021, Ty Smith scored.
After that, the dots continued to appear.
Smith marked the scoreboard again in each of the next four Devils games, becoming the second rising player in NHL history to start his career with points in five consecutive games. (First: Marek Zedlicki 2001).
By the end of the season, Smith led every rising defensive player in production with 23 points (2-21-22) in 48 games, and finished seventh in the Calder Cup vote.
Then 2021-22 arrived, and Smith got a sophomore slack.
His production dropped (to 20 points in 66 games), but the most striking issue was the increasingly frequent bed decisions with the puck leading to some costly Devils turnovers.
Smith’s NHL career so far has consisted of two completely different seasons. So what exactly will the Penguins get when the newest young defensive man joins the squad next season?
Ty Smith, earned by PIT, is a young offensive defensive man who can pass the ball well in the o-zone but struggles with lunge defense and flips the disc a lot in the transition. The senior sophomore fell back as he had some of the worst numbers in the league. #LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/shYTFapFsw
– JFresh (@JFreshHockey) 16 July 2022
Despite the twists in turnovers and achievements that plagued the young defensive player’s game last season, it’s easy to see by watching Smith where his rise is. His skilful ability to skate allows him to outsmart opponents.
Ty Smith (MustafaHosny Oh God, Amen) when asked to describe his game: “For me, I’m a guy who loves to skate. I depend on that and my hockey sense, my ability to play.”
– Pittsburgh penguins July 17 2022
from Ben Care of The last word in sports In 2018:
Ty Smith Represents the new breed of men of defense. Small in size, but very skilled, Smith is the kind of defender who gets chances in the National Hockey League, when he might have been overlooked in previous years.
Smith is an excellent skater. He can dash the puck over the ice, or hit the blue line and still cover his place defensively. He has excellent speed in both directions. Its acceleration is elite, reaching top speed in just one or two steps. Smith also has the axles, agility, and edge work to cover large areas of ice.
Smith’s offensive upside was evident throughout his WHL career. In 2020, he broke his own record in a single game and a record for the Spokane Chiefs by collecting six points (three goals and five assists) in one night.
We’ve seen this offensive prowess translate into the NHL in some clear passes and sharp shots throughout the 22-year-old’s 114 appearances with the Devils.
The penguins have a history of success in “rehabilitating” the collapsed defenseman later in his career, and Smith is just getting started.
With the upside that Smith has shown in his work WHL Studded Career And his successful rookie season in the National Hockey League, it’s easy to see why the Penguins chose him as their new defensive reclamation project — and why we ranked him #1 in the Top 25 Countdown to 2022 Under-25s.
GM Ron Hextall on Ty Smith: “Our hopes are that Ty will build on his first year and learn from his second year… It’s a tough position to play as a [young player]. We think the upside is very high, and we look forward to seeing Tay in training camp.”
– Pittsburgh penguins 16 July 2022
With Smith under contract exempt from waivers and the Penguins already full on the defender, it’s possible he could start the season in the AHL. Watch how Pittsburgh’s seven defensemen take turns during training camp and pre-season.
But even if Smith starts the year in Wilkes Barr/Scranton, we’re almost certain to see him for the first time in the Penguins sometime in 2022-23. I hope it won’t take you too long to see it on the scoreboard either.