Smoke Eaters defenceman Brady Smith (right) is on NHL Central Scouting’s “Players to Watch” list. Photo: Jim Bailey

Smoke Eaters defenceman Brady Smith (right) is on NHL Central Scouting’s “Players to Watch” list. Photo: Jim Bailey

NHL Scouts add Smoke Eaters defenceman to list

Smoke Eaters Brady Smith has been added to NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list

NHL scouts have been impressed by the play of Trail Smoke Eaters Brady Smith.

The six-foot-three, 170-pound defenceman played his way on to the NHL Central Scouting preliminary list of “Players to Watch” for the upcoming 2022-23 NHL Entry Draft.

The 17-year-old Prince Albert, Sask. product is playing in his first year as a Smoke Eater, and has been named to the NHL Central Scouting preliminary watch list as a “C” list ranking, or a fourth to sixth round projected pick.

Last season, Smith played with the Saskatoon Contacts AAA team in Saskatchewan’s U18 league and led his team in points from the back end, putting up five goals and 18 assists for 23 points in 37 contests.

The towering defender has already committed to the University of Connecticut, and played all 11 games for the Smoke Eaters this season. He is among 12 BCHL players named to the early season watch list including Smith’s future teammate and A-prospect Matthew Wood. The former Victoria Grizzly is now playing for the University of Connecticut where, as a rookie, he has contributed three goals and seven points in eight games.

Bradly Nadeau of the Penticton Vees is the lone B Prospect. C Prospects include Owen Beckner (D) and Carter Richardson (G) – Salmon Arm, Dylan Compton (D) – Vernon, Donovan Frias (F) – Cranbrook, AJ Lacroix (F) – Chilliwack, Hoyt Stanley (D) – Victoria, Aydar Suniev (F) – Penticton, Jonathan Castagna (F) – St. Andrew’s College (Penticton), and Cameron Johnson (F) – Chicago Steel (Chilliwack).

Smith and the Smoke Eaters are back in action this weekend when they host the Merritt Centennials on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Centre, and travel to Penticton to face the Vees on Saturday.

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Read: Trail falls to Bucks in Ot, beat ‘Backs

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