Gemel Smith On Track For ELC And To Join The Texas Stars Next Season

Claus Andersen

With many teams in the CHL and Europe beginning to clinch their respective playoff spots Defending Big D will look at how some of the Dallas Stars top prospects have done so far this year.

Gemel Smith entered last season with the high expectations of becoming one of the top offensive forwards in the OHL for Owen Sound Attack. While he only had 52 points last season, 23 goals and 29 goals, he has stepped up this year.

He found himself in high demand at the OHL trade deadline and was traded to the London Knights. The London Knights are one of the most heavily stacked teams in the OHL and are a powerhouse, even if they aren't top of their conference this year.

Gemel Smith was brought in as part of an effort to bring more offence to the London Knights. As a naturally talented sniper with incredible speed and skating skills he has brought that with him. In his draft year he won the fastest skater competition in the CHL.

Though he might have been small compared to many of the newly drafted Dallas Stars prospects, only 5'11", he plays much bigger than his size. He is a fierce forechecker and when drafted he was considered a good two way forward. He is a versatile forward who can play on both powerplay and penalty kill units. He can be an offensive force or a good grinder forward. This versatility is Smith's main hope for reaching the NHL.

He currently, at the point of writing, has 69 points through 60 games, and is 25th in the lead in points total. He is 14th in scoring with 33 goals so far this season and for a while he lead the scoring race.

In the past one of the biggest concerns surrounding Gemel Smith was his consistency, an issue which appears to have been resolved this year. His longest pointless streak this season has been three games while his longest point streak has been nine games.

The move to the London Knights also guarantees that Smith will be playing in the Memorial Cup this year as the London Knight will host the tournament. This won't be the first time that Gemel Smith has been to the Memorial Cup. In his rookie season with Owen Sound he joined them on their trip to the Memorial Cup tournament in 2011. This will be the London Knights third straight appearance in the Memorial Cup after being OHL Champions for the past two years.

Hockey's Future had a good article looking at Gemel Smith and also his return to the Memorial Cup. He's a versatile forward who can perform every role and is an excellent skater. With speed and skill being the new mantra of the Dallas Stars it appears likely that Gemel Smith's style of play fits the vision they have for the organisation going forward.

Gemel Smith hasn't had the easiest path on his way to getting drafted by the Dallas Stars in the 4th round, 104th overall, in 2011. This year is even more important for Smith as he wants to prove to the Stars that he is ready for both an entry level contract and a spot in the pros next season.

Will Gemel Smith be one of several Dallas Stars prospects to join the Texas Stars next year or will another year in the OHL be beneficial for his development? I think he will get an ELC this year and will be joining the Texas Stars for the beginning of the 2014-15 season. With the Knights definitely heading to the Memorial Cup as hosts he won't be joining the Texas Stars for any extended playoff run they could go on.

For now, and with a contract before the draft, Gemel Smith appears to be heading towards Austin and Cedar Park next year.

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