Bruins Player Preview: Reilly Smith’s Expected Role, Projected Season Stats

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Reilly SmithEditor’s note: NESN.com will preview every NHL-level Bruins player over the next few weeks, leading to the Oct. 8 season opener. Click here for the full schedule and to read other player profiles.

Reilly Smith is expected to be a key part of the Boston Bruins offense this season, and that process will start very soon.

He signed a one-year contract worth $1.4 million, the team announced Monday.

The right winger will report to training camp after missing the first week-and-a-half.

Player Vitals
Age: 23
Position: Right winger
2013-14 Stats: 20 goals, 31 assists, 51 points in 82 games
Contract: currently a restricted free agent

What He Will Bring The Team

Smith arrived in Boston last season as part of the Tyler Seguin trade with the Dallas Stars and quickly became a regular on the second line alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. He set career highs in goals, assists, games played, shooting percentage (13.7) and shots (146). Smith also played an important role on the team’s power play, which ranked third in the league with a 21.7 percent success rate. The Toronto native ranked second among Bruins forwards in power-play goals (six) and fourth in power-play points (14).

Overall, Smith is a player capable of providing 20-25 goals, 50-60 points, consistent power-play production and solid possession numbers.

Weakness That Must Be Improved

Consistency was an issue for Smith last season. To be fair, it was his first full campaign at the NHL level, but he had two streaks of 10-plus games without scoring a goal, including a 17-game drought from Jan. 30 through March 15. He also began the season with just one goal in the first 14 contests. The Bruins need more consistency from Smith if he’s playing on the second line.

Expected Role For 2014-15

Smith should return to his spot at right wing on the second line. His goal scoring, high hockey IQ and responsible defensive game make him a perfect fit for a top-six role. Smith’s high shooting percentage from 2013-14 suggests he will score fewer goals this season, but that probably won’t be the case because there’s still plenty of room for improvement in his game.

Projected 2014-15 Stats: 24 goals, 32 assists in 80 games

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