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Austin Smith Signs 2 Year ELC w/Dallas

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Old
03-21-2012, 09:16 PM
  #1
BigG44
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Austin Smith Signs 2 Year ELC w/Dallas

Austin Smith signs 2 year entry-level contract with the Dallas Stars.

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03-21-2012, 09:29 PM
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Awesome.

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03-21-2012, 09:30 PM
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Heika story with good quotes from Smith and Les Jackson.

Smith seems to express some understanding that his Hobey Baker chances aren't great, but he explains why the assumptions about the ECAC that hurt him in voting should actually have made him a better candidate.

Quote:
His chances of winning the Hobey Baker Award are probably reduced because he played in the ECAC, and that's not a conference that typically has teams competing for the national championship. The irony, he said, is that the league is known for its defensive play.

``I understand how people will make that decision, but I also understand that this is a league known for its defense, and that makes it tougher to score goals,'' Smith said. ``I just wish people knew that side of it too.''

In 22 league games this season, Smith scored 25 goals. The next closest players in the ECAC tallied 13. That's a pretty impressive separation.
Jackson addresses his work ethic:

Quote:
``He's such a good kid, and a smart kid, and you really didn't expect anything less from him,'' said Les Jackson, the Stars' director of scouting and player development. ``Honestly, I think that's his biggest strength, that he's going to outwork a lot of other players and he's going to give you everything he's got.''

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03-21-2012, 09:35 PM
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Austin Smith in October of 2011 talks about his game and development in Colgate:

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USCHO: How do you rate your growth as a player under coach Don Vaughan, who is two wins away from 300?

Smith: I’m mentally stronger, mentally tougher — maybe that’s because of the seasons we’ve had. [Vaughan] has been a good teacher in terms of understanding the game and helping me defensively. He’s made me more of a two-way forward. I can play left, center and right, which will help me when I turn pro at the end of the year. I’ve always been a pass-first player, and he’s gotten me to shoot, which has helped me add a new element to my game.

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03-21-2012, 09:52 PM
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Austin Smith's coaches from Prep school, the BCHL, and Colgate talk about him.

Quote:
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.”
Quote:
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.”
Quote:
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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03-21-2012, 10:19 PM
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I really hope he succeeds in the NHL, even if not with the stars.

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03-21-2012, 10:38 PM
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IIRC, this was posted in the prospect thread, but I thought I'd include it just in case someone missed it.


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03-21-2012, 11:25 PM
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Thanks BigG for compiling the info.

This has been a great season for A. Smith, regardless of whether he wins the Hobey Baker. It was somewhat questionable before the season started whether he would wind up in the Stars' plans with an ELC and even if he did whether it would be on his own merits or because of his status as a local boy. He obliterated any doubts as to his worthiness on that front and I look forward to seeing what he can do at the AHL level and then again at training camp this fall.

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03-21-2012, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piqued View Post
Thanks BigG for compiling the info.

This has been a great season for A. Smith, regardless of whether he wins the Hobey Baker. It was somewhat questionable before the season started whether he would wind up in the Stars' plans with an ELC and even if he did whether it would be on his own merits or because of his status as a local boy. He obliterated any doubts as to his worthiness on that front and I look forward to seeing what he can do at the AHL level and then again at training camp this fall.
I don't know that I consider myself one of the doubters, but my self-titled realistic views of him as a long-shot Top 6 but potential utility plug might say something different. So if I am technically a doubter I will thoroughly enjoy A. Smith proving my wrong. Seems like everyone that matters (his coaches and Dallas' staff) all feel he has the work ethic and determination to succeed. That's the type of endorsements and info I love to find.

I want to see him get an opportunity in Dallas one day.

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03-22-2012, 12:08 AM
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IMO, I think the biggest thing that really helped Austin to succeed this year (aside from playing with Chris Wagner) was that he found a renewed sense of confidence and belief in himself. Last season, he just didn't look as confident as he did this season. This may sound like baloney to some of you, but it is an observation worth noting. And yes, I've seen lots of Austin throughout his collegiate career.

I wish all the best for Austin with the Stars and I hope that all of you will keep me posted on his progress.

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03-22-2012, 01:44 AM
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Worth noting of Austin Smith's competitiveness: I played him in 4 games of scramble with friends, beating him 4-0 in the series. He now refuses to play me

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03-22-2012, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambassador Of Fun View Post
Worth noting of Austin Smith's competitiveness: I played him in 4 games of scramble with friends, beating him 4-0 in the series. He now refuses to play me
Is that good or bad?

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03-22-2012, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Systemfel View Post
Is that good or bad?
Ehh, I'm decent at the game. I just took it as him not wanting to lose, so I guess good.

Edit: But really I'm just bragging about being good at SWF


Last edited by Ambassador Of Fun: 03-22-2012 at 02:13 AM.
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03-22-2012, 03:10 AM
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Excited to see what this kid can do at the pro level.

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03-23-2012, 09:30 PM
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According to Cap Geek's preliminary report, Alex Smith actually did sign a max salary contract. No A or B bonuses, and it doesn't look like any games played bonuses.

2 years @ $875,000/year in the NHL of which $87,500/year is signing bonus. He'll earn $65,000/year in AHL.

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03-29-2012, 01:15 PM
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He was just named a Hobey Hat Trick Finalist.

For those who don't know...that's the top three finalists for college hockey's top player award.

Congrats to Austin!

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