With the 104th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft the Dallas Stars select Gemel Smith, center from Owen Sound, OHL
|2011 - Owen Sound
The parade of centers (five now acquired over all in the last 15 hours) continues with the Stars' selection of Gemel Smith, a young man from Toronto who played with Owen Sound last year.
This one comes as a bit of a departure for the Stars, however, as they've shown a propensity to draft big bodies in the last couple of years and Smith is anything but at just 5-10, 164 pounds. He's described as having a good two-way game and fantastic wheels. He won the fastest skater competition at the CHL's Top Prospects game this winter.
From The Hockey Writers: "Smith's best trait may be his versatility. He scored seven power-play goals, two short-handed goals and two game-winning goals. He was used in every situation and the numbers bear out that he wasn't too shabby in any of them. Such results can only help boost his confidence and encourage the Owen Sound coaching staff to give him even more chances to shine."
Obviously size is the big question mark here, but plenty in the NHL have overcome that particular limitation, and speed is one heck of a great way to do so. This is one is a bit of a project as we start to reach into the later rounds but the Stars have shown the ability to find guys this late before. It's a numbers game, and with nine picks in this draft they have to like their chances.
Further reading: "Gemel Smith is a little man with a big dream" - Apparently he has some kind of pre-existing relationship with Trevor Daley.
A few more quotes after the jump...
FC's Draft Guide...
SCOUTING REPORT: A small but highly intense two-way forward. Skates really well with both explosive acceleration and a high-end top gear. Displays good footwork and overall mobility. Won the fastest skater at the CHL Top Prospects game this winter. Does not like being told he cannot do something but when he is told so, he just works harder than everyone else to prove himself. Is a smart positional player that has nice vision with the puck and plays with a high effort level. Strong with the puck on his stick and dangerous around the net as well as off the rush. Is competitive at both ends of the ice and tries his best to be a difference maker in all three zones. Wants to play the body but lacks the size and core strength to be effective against some bigger competitors. Not overly effective in board battles because of his size. Has a decent snap shot and wrister that jumps off his stick that he uses to generate offense with quick strikes off the rush. Has good intelligence, knowing where to be and what to do in different situations. Lack of size is a real question going forward. NHL POTENTIAL: Second or third line character forward.
Gemel’s skating is among the best in this draft. He accelerates instantaneously and reaches an outstanding top speed. He’s difficult to ignore on the ice. At times we’ve wondered if anyone has actually told him how small he is, because he certainly doesn’t play like it. He hits hard and finishes his checks and his strong skating, upper body and core strength all work together towards his physical play. Those three things also contribute to his great puck protection ability. We’ve been constantly impressed that he is able to protect the puck as well as he can for his size and has a quick release on his shot, that seems to catch opposing goaltenders off guard at times.