The Boston Bruins have finally made their first big splash in free agency as they signed winger Craig Smith to a three-year contract. Smith will make 3.1 million dollars per year on his new contract. The 31-year-old spent the first 9 seasons of his career with the Nashville Predators and for the first time in his career, he finally changed teams.
Craig Smith Career Overview
After playing his college hockey at Wisconsin University Craig Smith was drafted 98th overall in the 2009 draft by the Nashville Predators. At 6 feet 1 inch Smith often finds himself in front of the net smacking away at loose pucks. During his, NHL career Smith has turned into a very good goal scorer. Smith has used his large frame during his career, to become a consistent 20 goal scorer for the Nashville Predators. In the shortened 2019-20 season Smith scored 18 goals and 13 assists. While playing for the Predators Smith was able to score 162 goals and added 168 for a total of 330 points.
What He Brings To The Bruins
By signing Smith, the Bruins finally have addressed the lack of depth scoring on the roster. In past years the Bruins first line has carried the offence. David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand make up Boston’s first line and they have been one if not the most dominant lines in the league.
On the other hand, the Bruins haven’t had a solid second line since their Stanley Cup appearance in 2013. Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton made up that once elite line. Nowadays the Bruins second line looks to be almost as good as it once was. David Krejci is still the center but now his wingers are lightning quick Jake Debrusk and newly signed Craig Smith. The combination of speed, skill, and scoring ability will prove to be a deadly combination for opponents.
The Bruins no longer need to slot in random players on the second line and hope they mesh well with Krejci. Those days are over as Smith should slot in and be the permanent and necessary winger that Krejci has needed almost his entire career.
During his time for the Nashville Predators Smith never played with anybody as skilled and crafty with the puck as David Krejci. Playing alongside Jake Debrusk and Krejci should do wonders for his career and his point production. Boston Bruins fans should expect Craig Smith’s scoring numbers to go up as he gets used to playing alongside his new teammates.
The Bruins addressed a position that definitely needed an upgrade and I think Don Sweeney should be praised for this signing. The Bruins needed a capable winger to play alongside David Krejci and Jake Debrusk. Smith is just that and hopefully do wonders for the team. Craig Smith might not be the flashy name that Bruins fans wanted to sign but he will slot in nicely on the second line for the next few seasons on the Bruins. With three very strong lines, the Boston Bruins look very scary and they should be in Stanley cup contention once again.
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