Zack Smith is what he is. Depending on your point of view, that is either a good thing or a bad thing. On the plus side, you know what you are going to get from him on a nightly basis, and that is an honest effort, quality penalty killing and solid defensive play.
On the other side of the coin, he takes a lot of abuse for under-acheiving. Depending on the night he is a solid third line or fourth line center. For a fourth liner, a 13 goal season is pretty productive, and that was what he produced, one off his career high.
- Had his only 2 goal game of the season on April 5th against Montreal. Unfortunately that was also the epic collapse where the Senators took a 3-0 lead but lost 7-4.
- Played all 82 games for the first time in his career and hasn’t missed a game since the 2011-12 season
- Finished with a -9 rating
Smith has 3 years left on his contract, that pays him just under $2M per season.
Smith is probably never going to get to 20 goals, but chips in offensively at certain times. He doesn’t get much power play time, and rightly so, so his offensive potential is limited. However, as younger prospects come into the fold, he is going to have to battle tooth and nail to keep his spot as the seasons go on.
GRADE: B : Solid but not spectacular, Zach Smith give you what is expected. Whether or not that is enough going forward remains to be seen. His need to fight went down this past season (only 3 scraps on the record) and that took away some of his effectiveness. He still had over 100 PIMs, but his between the whistles play needs to continue to develop as he finds his place in the lineup. Or out of it.