Givani Smith

Detroit Red Wings
Photo courtesy of TheAHL.com

Fantasy Summary

Smith has the potential to be a middle-six power winger who could be valuable in peripheral categories such as PIM, hits and blocks.


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 6.0
NHL Certainty 7.5
Country CAN
Position LW
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth February 27, 1998
Height 6‘2”
Weight 209 lbs
Drafted 2016 Round 2; Overall: 46

Observations

March 2019 – Smith is an interesting prospect for the Wings as they don’t have any other players quite like him in the system. He’s the proverbial big, gritty power forward with a nasty streak and is developing in that role in his first professional season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. One of the knocks on him in junior was his skating which appeared to maybe be slower than it actually was, but that is something that he has steadily improved upon. He will likely need another couple of years developing in the AHL. When he does make the jump Smith will probably start in a bottom-six role but he has potential to be a net-front guy on the power play and may develop into more than just a grinder at the NHL level. Mark Hillier

April 2018 – Smith’s last year in junior did not start out as planned as he suffered a high ankle sprain during the Red Wings development camp, which would keep him out of the Guelph lineup for two months. Despite the adversity, Smith continued to do what he does best, powering up and down the wing, causing havoc in front of the net, and getting involved in the extra-curricular. The Kitchener Rangers gave up three second-round picks to acquire the big power winger for their playoff run. To date, Smith has been instrumental for the Rangers when it matters most, with 13 points in 14 playoff games. He won’t blow by defenders with speed, but his skating has become deceptively efficient and he uses his size and strength to hold off defenders as he powers his way to the net. Once he arrives at the blue paint, Smith is a tough customer to handle, and this is where he scores most of his goals.  Smith will likely bring his heavy game to the AHL this fall to continue his development as a pro. His potential is a middle-six multi-cat power winger, something the rebuilding Wings can definitely use in the near future. Mark Hillier

August 2017 – Last season can definitely be considered a disappointment for Smith as he struggled to show much individual progression as a prospect. His play partially stems from playing on a team that finished second last in the OHL. He did, however, lead his squad with six player-of-the-week honours and was third in team scoring. Smith finished with 26 goals, 44 points and 139 penalty minutes in 64 games, similar to his 2015-2016 season when he had 23 goals, 42 points and 146 penalty minutes in 65 games. At times, he takes undisciplined penalties but nonetheless, he is a big and strong hard-working forward who plays physically and is good at cycling the puck along the boards. Smith was invited to Canada’s world junior camp this summer and played in the World Junior Championship Summer Showcase but is far from a lock to make the team. He will return to Guelph this season and then will need a couple of seasons of polishing in the AHL before hopefully challenging for an NHL roster spot. Jameson Ewasiuk 

A true power forward in every sense of the word, Smith has continuously impressed on a pitiful Guelph Storm squad throughout his OHL career. A large, powerful winger who has really honed his skills as a physical force since being selected by the Red Wings in last year’s NHL draft. Much bigger and equally tenacious as his brother Gemel, a member of the Dallas Stars organization, the younger Smith brings a similarly focused and hard-working effort to his game. Though his offensive totals aren’t as eye-opening as others drafted around him, Smith could be one of the biggest assets for Detroit in the future, as they continue to stack up prospects that provide both size and physicality to their lineup. Starting in training camp, Smith wasn’t as impactful as most would have hoped for a second-round pick, but was still a force on the ice in Traverse City, especially after being told by management to focus on his physical game. Throughout the 2016-17 OHL season, he’s amassed 15 goals in 28 games, good enough to tie the team lead on a squad desperate for offence. He has 75 penalty minutes and 118 shots on goal, which indicate at least at this level his balance of aggressive play and ability to generate chances. The main reason for his offensive success this season lies in his immense puck protection skills, using his big frame to guard against pressure on the rush, as well as in the dirty areas in corners and along the boards. While he’s not at a severe disadvantage compared to other prospects, he lacks elite-level skating and hands which could make him a truly dominant force in the OHL.

While he still has a long road of development ahead, he should be able to earn a job playing professional hockey in the near future. His combination of aggressive, tenacious play and his high compete level have taken him thus far and will the key to success and him finding a role with the Red Wings. Joseph Highgate


Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2012-2013 Mississauga Senators Bantam AAA GTBHL - - - - - |          
 2013-2014 Mississauga Senators Mn Mdgt AAA GTMMHL 26 9 8 17 71 | Playoffs 7 4 4 8
  Mississauga Senators Mn Mdgt AAA OHL Cup 4 0 0 0 0 |          
  Team GTHL Red OGC-16 5 3 2 5 6 |          
 2014-2015 Barrie Colts OHL 31 0 4 4 20 |          
  Team Blue U17-Dev 3 2 1 3 0 |          
  Guelph Storm OHL 30 7 8 15 56 | Playoffs 9 2 3 5 10 
  Canada Red U17 WHC-17 5 0 0 0 16 |          
 2015-2016 Guelph Storm OHL 65 23 19 42 146 |          
 2016-2017 Guelph Storm OHL 64 26 18 44 139 |          
  Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 3 0 0 0 2 |          
  OHL All-Stars Jr Super Series 2 0 1 1 4 |          
 2017-2018 Guelph Storm OHL 19 8 3 11 14 |          
  Kitchener Rangers OHL 27 9 10 19 36 | Playoffs 18 11 7 18 22 
 2018-2019 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 64 6 7 13 86 | Playoffs 3 0 2 2

Highlights