Red Wings Player Grades: Assessing The Forwards of the Future

Mar 28, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Michael Rasmussen (27) is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Michael Rasmussen (27) is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Givani Smith

2021 Statline:

Games: 16
Points: 4 (1-3)
CF%: 43.9%

Preseason Projections

Bottom 6 Forward in Detroit

2021 Season in a Nutshell

Smith was a curious case of trying to wrap the brain around Blashill’s moves. Smith endeared himself to Wings fans everywhere when he recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick against Florida, but his opportunities were still few and far between. Smith spent five less games up in the NHL this season, and though he played well in the AHL, it was curious to only see him get time as injuries piled up at the end of the season.

They said it

“There’s a lot there to learn. There’s a lot of raw ability, and there’s a lot I like about him. I like him number one as a person. I like him as a big, big body. He can add a physical element. I like his hands for a guy that has the package. But he’s got a lot to learn.” Jeff Blashill via the Detroit News.

Final Grade: C

There’s a lot of talk that Smith could be one of the players lost if exposed to the Expansion Draft. The compliments that Blashill gave Smith seemed to insist that the young forward is in the future plans of the organization, unlike Evgeny Svechnikov. Smith has the upside to be an Adam Erne like player–including the goal scoring touch that Erne displayed this season. He could also share comparisons with the role Tyler Bertuzzi plays–though the better numbers favor Bertuzzi.

Smith could be a great role player for the Red Wings as they add talent. Fans will have to wait and see if he’s still a Red Wing following the Expansion Draft.

More. The Yzerplan takes another step forward after a busy week. light