Prospect Profile: Henry Smith

Name: Henry Smith

Team: Delta Green (CSSHL)

Position: Defense

Hometown: Richmond, British Columbia

Height/Weight: 5’11 165lbs

Hand: Right

WHL Draft: 34th Overall – Medicine Hat Tigers

DraftGeek Rank: 35


Areas of Strength

  • Heavy Shot
  • Defensive Positioning
  • Communication

Areas of Weakness

  • Pace
  • Consistency

Report: Henry Smith is one of the top two-way defensive prospects coming out of B.C. in this year’s WHL Bantam Draft. Smith is a product of the Delta Hockey Academy that has seen numerous selections made from their teams in the previous handful of seasons. Physically imposing and playing a heavy game against other teams top lines, there’s a definite aggressiveness to his game and Smith led the Bantam Prep division with 83 PIMS in 29 games, accompanied by 30 points, 11 of them being goals. Smith is a very heads up mobile defender who guides his opponents to the perimeter using an active stick and a good use of angles and likes to punish them against the wall once he gets them there. Very responsible in his own end with good attention to detail defensively. Maintains his gaps in transition with effective four way mobility, constantly reading the play and moving his feet to make adjustments as needed. His lateral mobility may have been a knock against him at the beginning of the year but he seems to have worked hard to improve that aspect of the game and it showed at the recent BC Cup. Reaches a good top speed but his acceleration could be more efficient if he eliminates some of the movement from his stride. Smith is a very powerful player that generates lots of power from his lower body and really drive his legs into the ice as he skates. Communicates very well with his teammates during the course of the play, working hard to get into outlet/escape positions and then letting them know of that availability. Smith moves his feet and competes hard in his own zone to  win puck battles and turn the puck quickly up ice. Is a very very nice breakout starter, whether it be through his consistently hard first passes or his ability to skate the puck out of danger and into the neutral zone by himself. Favorable versatility to his game. Smith offensive production tailed slightly towards the end of the regular season as he played a more conservative offensive game, not jumping into the rush as often and instead focusing on defending and puck moving more-so. Often setting up as the top man on the power play unit, Smith tallied five goals and six assists with the man advantage, utilizing his cannon of a point shot to blow pucks past goaltenders from distance with a deadly combination of accuracy and high end velocity. His crisp passes are also an asset in odd man situations. Overall, Smith has a very attractive complete package of skills and awareness along with a high compete level that teams covet these days. With continued maturity in his decision making and physicality, Smith should be a fairly safe bet to play games in the league as a 16 year old and be an impact two-way defenseman by his 18 year old season.