Smith taking different approach to draft day
There won't be confetti on the ready and champagne on ice at the Smith household in Edmonton on Friday when it's time for the NHL Draft.
Colin Smith, a forward with the WHL's Kamloops Blazers, had friends and family over for the big day last year, but his name was never called.
"We pretty much watched the whole thing," said Smith, who turned 19 on Wednesday, June 20.
"I had some cousins come over. That was a bad decision."
The diminutive forward had a fantastic 2011-2012 campaign on a line with JC Lipon and Tim Bozon, both of whom are eligible for the draft, which runs on Friday, June 22, and Saturday, June 23, in Pittsburgh.
He racked up 85 points, 35 of them goals, in 72 regular-season games and tacked on 10 points in 11 playoff games.
The Edmonton product also led all Blazer forwards in plus-minus at plus-31. Only shutdown D-man Tyler Hansen was better at plus-38.
Smith said those numbers can't hurt his draft stock, but, one year older and one year wiser, the playmaking centre is not getting his hopes up.
"They're usually looking for the prototypical player, like a taller, bigger guy, but I'm not really that, so I don't know . . ., " said Smith, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 172 pounds.
"It's a little different this time round because I understand more that it's not really about the draft, it's about what you do after."
Make no mistake, Smith will be watching TSN on Friday and following along on Saturday with the rest of the hockey world.
"It's in the morning," he said. "You've really got nothing better to do."
He just won't be inviting pals over for popcorn and, name called or not, he'll be back in the gym — and perhaps the yoga studio — on Monday.
"Monday to Friday it's workouts and three times a week it's yoga," Smith said.
"I've got really tight hips, like extremelty tight hips. It's all about flexibility."
Blazer GM Craig Bonner advised the rest of his team to stay loose during the draft.
"That's a long day to sit through and wonder what's going on," Bonner said.
"With technology today and social media, you're going to find out. Maybe just get away and do something else."
— Blazer forward Tim Bozon is a virtual lock to be taken in this year's draft. He will likely be picked in the second or third round.
— Brendan Ranford was not signed by the Philadelphia Flyers, who selected the Blazer forward in the seventh round of the 2010 draft, and he will re-enter the draft this year.
— Smith, his linemate Lipon, forwards Dylan Willick and Jordan DePape, and defencemen Brady Gaudet, Marek Hrbas and Tyler Hansen are among the Blazers receiving draft buzz, but don’t be surprised if none of them are taken.
— Forwards Aspen Sterzer and Brock Balson, and defencemen Tyler Bell and Landon Cross round out the draft-eligible Blazers.