By: Patrick Donnelly
Per reports, the Boston Bruins have claimed forward Gemel Smith from the Dallas Stars after he was placed on waivers.
The 24-year-old was drafted in the fourth round, 104th-overall, by Dallas in 2012. So far this season, Smith has three points (2G, 1A) through 14 games. Last season, Smith had six goals, five assists, and 11 points in 46 games. Overall, Smith has 20 points (11G, 9A) in 77 NHL games.
Smith’s physical and active style of play, considering he is a smaller player, earned him praise from former Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock last season, but it was also noted that it took a bit of a toll on his smaller frame. He’s also not one to shy away from answering the bell if he needs to.
The small winger is also a tremendous skater with a very good shot to go along with a healthy dosage of speed as he was considered one of the best skaters in his 2012 draft class.
Smith (5’11” 195 lbs) can play both wing and center, and can slot up and down the lineup. While he may not be the most dazzling acquisition or the big solution the Bruins need, but he can certainly help the forward depth, perhaps even providing a spark to a struggling bottom-six.
In 186 AHL games for the Texas Stars, Smith has 35 goals, 51 assists, 86 points, 106 penalty minutes, and a plus-10 rating.
It’s not the big shakeup some fans are looking for, but Smith could help transform the bottom-six into a more formidable group, considering the Bruins have gotten a combined 13 even-strength goals from that group (a pretty measly number considering that takes into account each player that has found himself in a bottom-six role this season).
A guy who many Stars fans felt never got his fair shot, Smith will likely be able to earn a shot with the Bruins and bring some added skill and fire to the lineup.