The Nashville Predators have re-signed forward Cole Smith to a one-year contract extension worth $775,000.
Smith, who came into the season with just nine NHL games under his belt, earned a roster spot after a stellar preseason. Since then, he’s — somewhat surprisingly — become an everyday player in John Hynes’s lineup. Smith has 11 points (2 G, 9 A) in 42 games played this year. Smith has been most serviceable when used as a defensive/penalty-killing specialist. Among skaters who’ve played at least 30 games, he ranks second among forwards in shot suppression (56.07 CA/60 at 5v5 per natural stat trick) and second in suppressing dangerous scoring chances (2.58 xGA/60).
In theory, this move shouldn’t be much of a needle-mover. Smith’s contract is similar to ones David Poile has previously given to role players like Jarred Tinordi, Michael McCarron, and Ben Harpur in the past. It keeps Smith in the fold should the Preds need forward depth next season, and allows them to send him to Milwaukee with virtually little consequence if someone else surpasses him on the depth chart.
For now, the hope is that Smith can keep improving as a player and provide some value to the Preds’ forward corps over time.