While the roster is far from set, we’re running a new feature giving you, the fans, an opportunity to get to know players that we could see suiting up for Stockton this season or in future seasons.
Today we feature forward Hunter Smith.
Yet another big player to talk about as Smith, who’s commonly referred to (as his his Twitter handle) as Hunter “Big Rig” Smith stands at 6’6″ and weighs over 200 lbs. is an exciting prospect for the Calgary Flames.
Smith began his junior career with the Windsor Spitfires but found himself traded to the Oshawa Generals just before the start of the 2012-13 season, his first full season in the Canadian Hockey League.
Every year Smith showed improvement in every major statistical category; goals, assists, points, and even plus-minus. Not only did the winger improve every year, but he also played postseason hockey during all four of his years in the OHL.
This past season was a particularly memorable one for Smith as he helped Oshawa to an OHL Championship and a Memorial Cup Championship in what could be his last season in the OHL.
Smith turned 20 just a few days ago on September 11th, meaning that he’s eligible to play in the American Hockey League for the first time. However, he could also be eligible to return to the WHL for his overage year, but from the looks of his play during the Flames Development Camp and the Young Stars Classic, Smith looks poised to make the jump to pro.
Initially drafted by the Flames in second round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, “Big Rig” earned his nickname because of his size and physicality. He’s someone that can throw his body around, but also someone who can find the back of the net.
Smith established career highs last year with 23 goals and 26 assists (49 points) during the regular season and added 7 goals and 7 assists in 16 games during the OHL playoffs.
In his four Memorial Cup games, Smith tallied one goal en route to the title.
An extremely large and exciting prospect like this only comes around once in awhile, which is why it could be extremely exciting for Heat fans if Smith lands in Stockton.
Read the other Meet the Heat’s:
Jon Gillies – Goaltender