YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Phantoms have boosted their blue line heading into the season opener by acquiring defenseman Alex Smith from the Indiana Ice, head coach and general manager Anthony Noreen announced today. In exchange Youngstown sent a conditional sixth-round pick in Phase 2 of the 2014 USHL Draft to Indiana.
A two-year USHL veteran, Smith, 18, adds valuable experience and puck-moving ability to Youngstown’s defensive corps. The 6-foot, 180-pound blue liner is expected to join the Phantoms Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich., ahead of their 2013-14 season opener vs. Team USA.
“We’re very pleased to add a player of Alex’s caliber to our squad,” Noreen said. “He’s a guy with two years of experience in our league, who’s proved he can produce and play a serious role on some good teams. He’s a guy that we hope can provide some depth to our back end.”
Smith, a Brownstown, Mich., native, recorded one goal and one assist for two points along with 19 penalty minutes in 12 games for the Ice in 2012-13. His season was cut short in October when he suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the campaign.
Muskegon’s first pick (fifth overall) in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft, Smith recorded 2-13-15 and 49 penalty minutes in 47 games for the Lumberjacks in the 2011-12 season. He was dealt to the Ice in exchange for a pair of picks during the 2012 USHL Entry Draft.
“We’re talking about a guy who played [in the USHL] as an under-ager and put up 15 points. That’s pretty impressive,” Noreen said. “Here we are two years later and hopefully he’s two years advanced and smarter. He’s aggressive, he’s a good power-play guy, he’s physical and we think he’s a guy who’s going to fit our system well.”
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)