A crafty, but not necessarily dynamic offensive player who can both shoot and make plays in open ice. Not a line-driving type of player. Looks to score from the soft areas of the offensive zone.
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August 2020 – C.J. Smith has just completed the first year of a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres organization. He spent the season in the AHL with the Rochester Americans and amassed 12 goals and 27 points in 50 games, a significant drop from his previous season’s totals. Smith plays an offensive role with the Americans and is the type of point producer who is often the trailer off the rush and who seeks open ice to finish plays. He is one of the Rochester Americans’ more talented offensive players but is further down the depth chart as a potential NHL option for the Sabres than numerous other players. He is 25 years old. Kevin Wong
February 2020 – Smith’s fantasy value has faded as this season has been a rough one. In AHL 44 games, he has tallied 11 goals and 13 assists. Last season, he was just under a point per game player with 58 points in 62 games. In the last few games, he has been paired with Casey Mittelstadt and Remi Elie. If Mittelstadt can continue to produce at a consistent rate, Smith will only benefit. Josh Tessler
November 2019 – In early November, the Buffalo Sabres had announced that Smith had suffered a lower-body injury and that he would be out for approximately four to six weeks. Prior to the injury, Smith had been on fire for the Americans in the offensive zone having tallied three goals and three assists in 12 games. With Smith having a lot of success in the AHL last season and this season, it was assumed that he would have been next in line when injuries came up at the NHL level. Shortly after Smith caught the injury bug, Vladimir Sobotka went down with an injury. It was unfortunate timing as Smith might have had an opportunity to play in a few contests for Buffalo. If Smith’s return to Rochester goes well, he might be next in line if/when the Sabres need some reinforcements from the AHL. Josh Tessler
August 2018 – After a fantastic year in the AHL with Rochester, Smith looks ready to transition to Buffalo next year. While he may not have the highest ceiling, he’s shown that he has what it takes to play in the NHL with the big boys. Putting up 44 points in the AHL and making it to the AHL All Star Game were some of Smith’s highlights this year, as well as being an instrumental part of the team that made a run for the playoffs after not being expected to do so. Smith may not start in the NHL next year, but he’ll surely give it a shot in preseason and will be one of the first call ups of the season. Marcus Griep
February 2018 – Things just keep getting better and better for the rookie pro. Not only was he named to the AHL All Star game on the back of a 14-25-39 season, but he was named MVP of the mini-tournament notching five points in four games. He’s real close. Brad Phillips
December 2017 – Things may not be going so swell at the highest level for the Sabres but in the minor ranks there has been at least one shining light in the form of prospect C.J. Smith who has been somewhat of a revelation for the Sabres this season. Smith leads the Rochester Americans in every offensive category racking up nine goals, 18 assists in 26 games and sits fifth overall in AHL scoring. With the season already in the tank for Buffalo it likely won’t belong before we see Smith in the show to see what he can do. Brad Phillips
March 2017 – The Buffalo Sabres signed C.J. Smith from UMass-Lowell to a two-year, entry-level contract and he will play with the NHL club for the remaining games this season. Smith is coming off of a stupendous year at the NCAA level where he set a career high for goals and assists. Smith is already a great skater with topnotch speed, and carries a professional-level shot.
C.J. can become a good two-way winger under the right development. His frame lacks, but he makes up for it with smart defensive plays. Unknown as to what he can do at the professional level. Max Marko
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