The one thing that the Stars currently lack in their armoury is a player who will score you a lot of points on a consistent basis, such as Crosby with the Penguins and Stamkos with the Lightning. Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson will always be 60-80 point players, but have the Stars found an even bigger scorer?
It is a huge label to stick on such a young guy, but the numbers in his career suggest that Reilly Smith can score goals. He represented Toronto Nationals in the Greater Toronto Hockey League and recorded a massive 157 points at just 17 years of age. The Canadian also played in the Ontario Junior Hockey League and impressively recorded successive 50-point seasons.
The NHL is faster and more physical than any other league and it can take the best of players by surprise when they make the switch. Is Reilly Smith an exception to that? He played 3 games for the Stars last season, and his first shift in the NHL was both impressive and promising. It was at Rexall Place in front of a loud crowd in Edmonton where Smith grabbed the puck for the first time in the NHL. He didn’t panic and strode towards the offensive zone, releasing a powerful wrist shot which was saved. This speaks volumes about his future in the NHL.
Smith definitely has the skill to be an effective goal scorer in the NHL, but he definitely needs to work on his physical size. An 82-game season is a long time and takes a lot out on the body. A big summer lies ahead for Reilly to get as strong as possible.
There are some really good players coming through the ranks in Dallas. Smith played the 2011/12 season for Miami University and recorded 30 goals. Who was the only player to score more than Reilly Smith? Austin Smith, a Stars prospect playing for Colgate.
Other youngsters on the radar include Brenden Dillon, a big defenseman who somehow ended up not getting picked in 2 NHL drafts. The Stars monitored his progress and decided to give him a contract last year. He had a successful season for the AHL Texas Stars, recording 55 appearances. Jamie Olesiak,the Stars’ number 1 pick in 2011, made the step up to the OHL, playing 59 games and scoring 32 points. Jack Campbell is also developing quickly, and will add strength to Dallas’ very good goaltending unit in years to come.
So, the future is very bright for the Stars with some awesome young talent starting to emerge. The question as to when Reilly Smith will be a regular on the Stars roster is yet to be answered. Whether he plays next season or in five seasons time, I think this guy is definitely one to watch.