from Nate Brown of Detroit Hockey Now,
Looking up and down the Red Wings lineup, Smith is one that is likely on the bubble. There’s competition everywhere, from prospects Elmer Soderblom and Jonatan Berggren to veterans Adam Erne and Joe Veleno. So while Smith has showed a knack for goal scoring at times, he’s clearly using his talent to upend and defend as a means to carving out his spot on the final roster.
Detroit is certainly not flush with the physically-minded players. Last season, there was concern about the targeting of the team’s more skillful players by other teams–at times in ways that would warrant punishment if the other way around.
Smith’s role then is no different than a Veleno. Or Erne. Heck, it harkens back to that of former Red Wing Justin Abdelkader, a hard-nosed forward with a penchant to find the net.
It remains to be seen if he’ll have the same output as Adbelkader did earlier in his career. It’s still a question as to whether Smith ends up on the final roster. Pointedly, if exposed to waivers, would another team snag him?
It’s a fact that Smith may end up staying in Detroit due to the requirement of passing through waivers before being being sent down. That being the case, it wouldn’t be surprising for him becoming a rotating forward in the lineup.