Prospect Profile: Hayden Smith

Name: Hayden Smith

Team: Yale Lions (CSSHL)

Position: Forward

Hometown: Dawson Creek, British Columbia

Height/Weight: 5’10 157lbs

Hand: Left

WHL Draft: 24th Overall – Saskatoon Blades

DraftGeek Rank: 43rd


 

Areas of Strength

  • Offensive Skill
  • Playmaking Abilities
  • Attacking Through Tough Areas

Areas of Weakness

  • Defensive Urgency
  • Consistency
  • Intensity

Report: Leading scorer of the Yale Lions with 47 points in the regular season, Smith offense isn’t the issue. Smith’s natural talent offensively is worthy of being a first round selection come May 2nd, the issue is that he seems to pick his spots on when he wants to use them to a conservative amount. Smith skating is hard to contain and a combination of explosive separating acceleration along with four way attacking mobility. Smith does a good job diversifying his attack, driving through different angles and changing his approach after reaching the blue line every time he comes down. Making poised reads about defensive schemes and adjusting his attack to that. Smith will curl up a few feet from the blue line and drag defenders up towards him before feeding a puck down low for an odd man situation, he has the crafty handwork and slick puck maneuvering to control the puck through traffic and to the net, or will attempt to burn a defender with a strong wide drive to the. The puck skills he possesses are elite, making him capable as both a playmaker and a scorer, mixing up his strategy many times during a game. This attack is focused on doing the bulk of its damage off the rush, Smith fails to adjust when the pace of the game slows down in the offensive end. He waits for the puck to come to him rather than going and getting it him. Setting himself up in a position to shoot near the left dot. If he’s engaged in the offensive zone he will get involved in the cycle, which is a strength of his as the nifty puck control he has allowed him to roll off the wall into a scoring area and unload his highly efficient shot on net. His lack of intensity defensively and willingness to back check makes him a liability at times defensively. Yet once his defenseman retrieves the puck, he’s already looking up ice and hoping the puck reaches his stick. Hayden Smith has the potential be a productive player at the WHL but he not only picks his spots but he does it so rarely that scouts can go periods at a time before seeing that offensive flare he possesses on full display.