Ben Smith’s San Jose Sharks tenure started off with a bang. The Sharks acquired the forward in exchange for Andrew Desjardins at the 2014-15 trade deadline, and Smith scored a goal and added an assist in his first game in teal.
Down the stretch in a lost season, Smith was a decent player. He posted five points in 19 games, and looked to be a part of the Sharks’ bottom six in Pete DeBoer’s first season behind the Sharks bench.
Early on last season, it was clear that Smith was not really in DeBoer’s plans. He played in just four of the Sharks’ first ten games, and never played more than 8:20. Smith missed 22 games after suffering a concussion, and was scratched in 10 of the next 12 games.
Smith was waived in January, and then shipped to Toronto as part of the James Reimer trade. For the second straight season, the soon-to-be Western Conference Champion traded Smith at the deadline to a team that would miss the playoffs.
The forward signed with the Colorado Avalanche this offseason, but was waived after only four games. Smith then returned to Toronto after the Maple Leafs claimed him on waivers, and has scored three points in 21 games.
Smith is what he is at this point: a fourth line forward with some scoring pop and not much else. It’s easy to see why he’s bounced around the league and up and down between the minors, but he seems to have earned Mike Babcock’s trust.
From the Archives
Ben Smith’s first game in teal was probably his best, and was highlighted in The Neutral’s game recap from the Sharks’ March 2, 2015 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
The Sharks responded to the flurry of trade activity and the dwindling playoff odds that precipitated it with one of their more complete efforts of the season, outshooting the top-ranked team in the East 37-20 en route to a 4-0 victory. And front and center of the action was the lone player the Sharks brought in prior to today's deadline, forward Ben Smith from the Chicago Blackhawks. Centering Tomas Hertl and Tommy Wingels on the team's third line, Smith scored the game-opening goal and added an assist on a Matt Irwin marker in addition to going seven for ten in the faceoff circle and compiling a 57% Corsi, two shots on goal and four hits. He was named the team's second star but probably deserved to be its first, fitting in perfectly with his linemates despite barely making it to the game in time for puck drop.