DETROIT -- The Red Wings announced today that the club has signed defenseman Brendan Smith to a three-year entry level contract.
Smith, 21, was Detroit’s first round draft pick (27th overall) in the 2007 NHL draftt. The Mimico, Ontario, native spent the past three seasons playing for the University of Wisconsin in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association under the watch of head coach Mike Eaves, father of Red Wings forward Patrick Eaves.
“Brendan improved tremendously in each of his three seasons at Wisconsin,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. “He was a dominant player at the collegiate level, in particular at his position, and we feel he is ready to take the next step in his career at the professional level. We look forward to having him at training camp in Traverse City in September.”
Smith enjoyed a stellar junior season at Wisconsin, leading the nation in scoring among defensemen with 15 goals and 52 points. He was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate hockey player.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound defenseman was named to the All-WCHA First Team and also took home honors as the WCHA Defensive Player of the Year. Smith became the first Badgers defenseman to record 50 points in a season since 1989-90 and the first to post at least 10 power-play goals in a season since 1979-80.
In three seasons at Wisconsin, Smith collected 87 points (26-61-87) and 177 PIM.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)