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Will Smith scouting report for 2023 NHL Draft

We go over the full scouting report for United States forward Will Smith heading into the 2023 NHL Draft.

Will Smith of United States celebrates his 1-0 during the semi final of U18 Ice Hockey World Championship match between United States and Slovakia at St. Jakob-Park on April 29, 2023 in Basel, Switzerland. Photo by Jari Pestelacci/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

If you were looking for a scouting report and highlights of Will Smith from his Fresh Prince basketball playing days, you’re in the wrong place. If you’re looking to read up on the next great Will Smith and name in U.S.A hockey, you’re in the right place. Here we’ll be going over the scouting report for U.S. prospect Will Smith, a potential top-3 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

2023 NHL Draft: Will Smith Scouting Report

Who is Will Smith?

An 18-year-old center from Massachusetts, Smith has one of the best resumes of a U.S. hockey prospect ever. He came up with the U.S. National Team Development Program, scoring 127 points (51 goals) in 60 games this past season. That was good for second all-time in a single season, five behind teammate Gabe Perrault, also expected to go in the first round on Wednesday night. Smith is second all-time in scoring for the USNTDP behind New Jersey Devils C Jack Hughes. His accomplishments have him in the company of countless American-born stars in the NHL, including Hughes, Auston Matthews, Clayton Keller and Patrick Kane.


NHL player comparison

It’s easy to just go right to the U.S. player comparisons for Smith. He has a pretty incredible offensive skill set with great vision. Smith’s size makes him tough on the forecheck and he’s a solid skater. It’ll really come down to whether he can hang in the dot in the NHL and how well he reads plays. Smith will have some time to develop further in the NCAA at Boston College.

Given his size (6’0”), Smith is sort of like Auston Matthews lite. Detroit Red Wings C Dylan Larkin feels like a good comp for Smith. He has a quality shot but its his puck-handling skills and passing ability that really stand out when you watch some film. NCAA will help him learn to play more of a structured game. His team for the USNTDP was stacked, including Perrault and Smith’s future BC teammate Ryan Leonard. Not to say that should mean we temper expectations for the group.