As the College Hockey Season is now just getting underway. Joe Gladziszewski of Inside College Hockey mostly takes a look at up-and-coming players for his Segment entitled College Hockey A-to-Z. But he takes a look at some of the superstars who are looking to make their way to the NHL as well.
Recently, here's his look at D/FW Native and Dallas Stars Prospect Austin Smith as he enters his Junior Year with an improving 4th Place Finish during the regular season, but unfortunately came up short in the Conference Tournament after losing in the Quarterfinals after earning a bye in the opening round.
Before last year started, I thought that he would probably need his entire time in the NCAA before he could have a shot of making his professional debut. But if he has another strong year, I think he could seriously have a shot of making his Pro debut this season with the Texas Stars (AHL) to show the Dallas Stars Org. that he is closer then ever before to making the National Hockey League and to be the first Texan to make the NHL.
Either way, expect another great year for the Raiders star forward to take over his team to become a strong leader for the Raiders this season.
Colgate Ice Hockey Website
Austin Smith Colgate Profile
Here's Joe Gladziszewski of Inside College Hockey
Key Stats: Smith led the Raiders in scoring as a sophomore with 41 points on 16 goals and 25 assists. Six of his goals came on the power play and three were game winners. He took just 10 minor penalties last season. That backed up a breakout freshman campaign in which he had 17 goals and 14 assists for 31 points. He hasn't missed a game in his career, suiting up 73 times for Colgate.
What he Does: Austin Smith isn't the type of guy you would likely find in this Inside College Hockey A-Z series because we generally try to id. emerging players, and it could strongly be argued that Smith is a proven Star in ECAC Hockey. He was recently voted to preseason All ECAC Hockey Teams by Coaches and the Media, and is a draft pick for his hometown Dallas Stars.
The Bigger Picture: Though he was a big producer for Colgate right from the start, it's Clarey his time to shine now that David Mclntyre has moved on. Smith is ready to take that challenge and will feature prominently for the Raiders. He won't be alone, as the likes of Brian Day, Francois Brisebois and Robbie Bourdon are also back for Colgate.
Austin Smith on the Upcoming Season: "I think we have a very good team and we're a lot deeper then people give us credit for. Our expectations are going to get in the top four of the league and a playoff bye and find a way to get into the NCAA Tournament. Whatever it is by getting a bid or winning the Conference."
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