The Maple Leafs have brought back Trevor Smith on a one-year, one-way $550,000 contract.
With the Leafs last season, Trevor Smith played at a 32 point pace averaging less than 10 and a half minutes of ice time per game, but he collected all of his nine points in 28 games when playing up the lineup. In the three games when both Nazem Kadri was suspended and Tyler Bozak was hurt in mid November, he collected five of his 9 playing some shifts with Joffrey Lupul, Mason Raymond and David Clarkson. Not surprisingly, he was a nonfactor when he was played in a spare-minutes 4th line role.
It’s possible Smith fills the role as the Leafs’ 4C out of camp, although that seems unlikely to me with Santorelli, Kontiola and Holland all around and likely to get some looks in the bottom 6 C spots to start the season. Smith is what he is at this point – as in he’s not going to develop into something more like Holland – and he might not give the team the type of impact it wants from a veteran in a 4th line energy role, but he provides a depth call-up option capable of stepping into the top 9 if the Leafs face another sticky situation with injuries down the middle.
One anticipates Smith will spend more time captaining the Marlies than he was able to during the 2013-14 season. Between an injury and big-club duty, Smith appeared in just 24 regular season games for the Marlies last year, posting 10 goals and 26 points.