The Detroit Red Wings drafted right winger Givani Smith out of the OHL’s Guelph Storm with the 46th overall pick at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Now, they’ve decided to ink him to an entry-level deal.
The Red Wings confirmed on Monday morning that Smith, who has five points through seven games to start off his 2016-17 major junior season with Guelph, has inked his entry-level deal with the Atlantic Division club. This will enable the forward to join Detroit or their AHL affiliate for a spring or postseason run, following the end of his major junior season.
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Smith broke out at the OHL level last season with a career-high 23 goals and 42 points in 65 regular season games for Guelph. He was second on the team in both goals and scoring, behind only James McEwan in both categories. This year, although the season is still new, the winger sits seventh in scoring on the club despite holding three games in hand – and he’s only three points behind the team leaders, suggesting he’s a crucial part of their scoring success to kick off the year.
For Detroit, though, this signing is big. He becomes the team’s first signee from their 2016 draft, as defenseman Dennis Cholowski is currently playing at St. Cloud State and will be unable to sign his entry-level deal until he opts to leave NCAA play.