Sick of hearing how the Wings are going to be crap this year? Me too. That's why I'm going the opposite and making bold claims. Like this: Brendan Smith will be the rookie of the year this upcoming year.
Crazy? Probably. But I believe it.
Smith played a few games last year with Detroit. As a newcomer, he was leashed, hesitant, but still impressed. But you could clearly tell he had skill. Tons of it. He's got a rocket from the blueline that is only bested by the great #5. Combined that with smoothness of a Mark Kozelek song. Oh and he fights. What eles do you want?
Hit the jump for more on Smith (plus some funny youtube comments):
Named to the AHL All-Star squad (as a rookie) in 2011, he's handled the AHL with ease. That's after absolutely dominating his junior year at Wisconsin, scoring 52 points in 42 games.
That's very comparable to Kronwall's time in the AHL, where his best season he scored 53 points in 74 games. Further, in his short time in the NHL, he kept up his PPG average, scoring 7 points in 14 games. Not bad. Plus, he shows a hockey IQ above the average player. Check out how he handles this play:
Smith's pressured, but still makes the play to Holmstrom (who of course, loses it) while initiating contact with the opposing player, knocking him silly. Not only that, he regroups and gathers the puck around the Kings forechecker to make another play in the opposite direction. You can't complain about that. Simply above his level.
By the way, on that last youtube video, these two comments made me laugh:
Ha! Anyways, I think this guy really has a chance to shine next season, at a level where our focus isn't losing out on Suter, but rather how much more talented Smith is. I believe he'll be our top line guy that we hope him to be.
So I'm calling it now. Smith for Calder, 2012-13.
I don't think he will win as a defenseman, but hopefully he has a better year than his buddy over in Edmonton, ("the great") Justin Schultz.
Man screw that guy who was trashing Ken or Mick. I'm fine w/ Murph, but god dammit leave the other two out of it.
My prediction is that he deserves it, gets nominated, and comes in 3rd in favor of some schmuck forward who obviously scores more.