With the regular season over, it’s time for players around the league to be evaluated for their effectiveness and their value to a team. We’ll be doing the same thing throughout the month of May, and we’d love to hear your opinions on our grading.
We’ll travel through the team in numerical order this year and we’ll hit every individual that was on the roster as of Saturday April 27; the official end of the Stars season.
It was a season of firsts for Reilly Smith, who held a place on the Dallas Stars roster for 37 of the 48 games post-lockout. The 22-year-old Canadian hit NHL ice for the first time last year, but was unable to register a point in his first three appearances. This season would prove to be different though, with Smith scoring not just one, but three goals, and recording six assists for the season. Smith also balanced good shifts and bad shifts, closing out the season at zero in the plus/minus.
Smith scored his first goal against the Vancouver Canucks on February 15 in Vancouver. Two nights later in Dallas, he scored his second against the Calgary Flames. Smith scored his final goal of the season February 25 in Nashville. The next night against Columbus, Smith posted the first assist of his NHL career.
Despite hitting a dry spell in goal-scoring, Smith continued to post assists through the end of the season against Los Angeles, Minnesota and Vancouver.
Smith also played in 45 games with the Texas Stars and contributed 14 goals and 21 assists to the AHL team in the regular season. After Dallas’ season came to a close in late April, he returned to the farm team for seven games in the post-season. Smith recorded four assists in the team’s race for the Calder Cup, which ended in the semi-finals against the Oklahoma City Barons.
Smith was a visible presence on Dallas ice, but didn’t over-exert himself in physicality. Spending a total of ten minutes in the penalty box, Smith didn’t shy away from an altercation, but didn’t seek it out either.
Because of Smith’s ability to perform both for Dallas and for Texas, and in acknowledgment of his season of firsts, I give Reilly Smith a B for the 2012-2013 season.
Goal scoring: B
On-ice presence and performance: B