Thread: Confirmed with Link: Austin Smith Signs 2 Year ELC w/Dallas
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03-21-2012, 08:52 PM
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Austin Smith's coaches from Prep school, the BCHL, and Colgate talk about him.

Originally Posted by Chris Baudo of The Gunnery School
“From the day I met him — when I first saw him play, when he was 15 or 16 years old — he was so ultra-competitive,” said Smith’s high school coach, Chris Baudo of The Gunnery School in Washington, Conn. “He is incredibly focused, he is incredibly driven and he is confident. Not arrogant, just confident in his ability to be successful if he works hard enough.

“He has always been ultra-focused, and willing to do anything to prove any naysayers wrong.”

“His final year here before he got drafted, there were a bunch of pro scouts,” he said. “We played a game against Westminster, and Westminster had [Boston College senior] Tommy Cross, who was expected to be a … late first-round, second-round pick, and we saw a couple of the pro guys after the game. Austin had played very well and had done a very nice job out there against Tommy, because obviously they were matching lines that day.

“The pro scout said, ‘We knew that Austin was going to be successful, and it’s not about his hands, and it’s not about his feet. All that’s great. He’s like a bulldog. We knew that he was going to get inside of him, that he was going to outcompete him, he’s going to win battles in the corner just because he’s so tenacious.’ I really think that that is what makes the difference for him at Colgate, and I think that will make the difference for him moving forward.”

“Austin is an incredibly loyal kid. He’s focused, he’s intense, but he’s not just about himself,” Baudo said. “We were a program at that point that … when we took over as a staff, the team was 2-30 the year prior. He visited the school, he liked the school, we liked him.”

“Even though at the last minute he was found out by other schools — bigger schools, bigger-named schools — he stuck with us,” Baudo said, “and we were fortunate that he stuck with us. He, along with a few other guys obviously, really took our program to another level and has gotten us to where we have been able to sustain it even today.”
Originally Posted by Fred Harbinson of the Penticton Vees (BCHL)
“Coming from Texas, for him coming up and playing in Canada, he wanted to prove to everybody that he was the real deal,” said Penticton Vees head coach Fred Harbinson, who guided Smith through a season in the BCHL. “I think he clearly did that here, and I think he took that same passion when he went on to college. A lot of people say they want to be a pro, but there’s a heck of a lot more that goes into it other than just saying it, and I think he realizes it. I think he’ll do just about anything to get there.”

“His speed is obviously what caught any hockey person’s eye right away. But as he grew throughout the season, he had a knack for scoring big goals, and it was just because I think he had such a competitive drive in him. His motor just never stopped,” said Harbinson. “As the year went on he kept getting better and better, and I remember going into the playoffs that year we always kind of wondered — in the playoffs, everything gets tighter, gets tougher, gets more physical — how was he going to handle that?

“He handled it by being our leading scorer in the playoffs, and when we got to the BCHL final he scored the first goal in every game. It was just amazing, when the chips were down.”
Originally Posted by Don Vaughan of Colgate University
“He approaches life like he does hockey: He’s a competitive person, he’s intense,” said Colgate coach Don Vaughan. “I think he comes across as kind of laid back, but there’s a whole lot going on in there at the same time.”

“Oh yeah, for sure,” said Vaughan. “I think he’s always sizing himself up with some of the other players he’s played against who have gone on to play pro, or put up numbers at other schools, so I definitely think there’s some of that. Obviously, coming from a non-traditional hockey area and having to prove that he is what everybody thinks he is, yeah. He’s in a small market, a small school; we don’t get the same attention that a lot of the bigger schools do. We’re seeing that now … in terms of his chances for the Hobey.

“I think he gets hurt in some ways by the fact that he’s at Colgate, and I think that’s really unfair. His play, his numbers and everything else speaks for themselves. He deserves to be in the same company as anybody else who’s being discussed for this award.”

“He made his decision early in the process that this is where he wanted to be, and he never wavered from that,” said Vaughan, “even though I know he had other schools that were showing a lot of interest in him. He could have easily said, ‘I want to reconsider.’"

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