Benjamin Alexander Smith
Born July 11, 1988 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
Right winger in the Chicago Blackhawks system
I had planned Thursday night to profile him, and I shall even though things with him changed on Friday. Benny actually grew up in Avon, Connecticut with three brothers and very musically inclined parents – his father’s a composer, while his mother was a concert pianist who now gives piano lessons. After high school, he went to Boston College (ew) in 2006, even though he was being wooed by Harvard and Yale’s hockey programs. Two years later, the Chicago Blackhawks drafted him in the sixth round, but he opted to stay at BC for two more years.
After graduation, Benny played with the Rockford IceHogs for three playoff games before plunging into the AHL season proper in 2010. But he was called up on October 29th to play in his first NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers, and he later scored his first NHL goal against the Detroit Red Wings on April 8, 2011. On top of that, he was in his first NHL playoffs when he scored the decisive OT goal to force a Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks:
This season didn’t start off so well for Benny. During a preseason game with Detroit, Brendan Smith collided with him, sending him sliding face down across the ice. I saw that game, and he looked really out of it. He started the season on the roster but was a scratch but then was sent down to Rockford to get back on track. He bounced back from his concussion and was so impressive that he’s been called up twice, and he scored a goal each time. He’s been sent back now that Marcus Kruger’s back on the roster, but I have a feeling we’ll see him again – if not this season, then definitely next fall.