In the latest player commitment to make bloggers and readers alike feel old, Northeastern secured a verbal commitment from forward Will Smith, a 2005-birth year out of Massachusetts. The Huskies secured the verbal from Smith just hours before the new NCAA rules regarding player contact, official and unofficial visits, and verbal commitments went into effect midnight on May 1st.
As one may expect, there is not a lot out there on the 14-year-old Mr. Smith, but we do know that he plays in the Boston Junior Eagles organization, one of the premier junior and bantam programs in the New England region. Smith is considered to be one of his age group’s top players and scorers, and he was named the MVP of the 2018 Mini Chowder Cup, a tournament that features some of the best youth teams in the region (Not to be confused with the Chowder Cup, which features players ages 16-20 years old).
NeutralZone scouting services (subscription required) had some information on Smith from their viewing in April at the Total Pro Evaluation, and called him “hands down” the best player at the event. He was given a 4.25/5 star ranking, which gives the expectation that he will develop into someone that will make an immediate impact at the NCAA level and a likely NHL Draft selection. Obviously there is a lot of time between now and then, but it’s impressive to see at such a young age.
Smith will attend St. Sebastian’s school, a prep school known as a premier hockey factory. Current Huskies recruits Jayden Struble (2019), Riley Hughes (2019), and Jack Hughes (2021/22) also attend or attended St. Sebastian’s.
United States Hockey Report had a publication from August 2018 after the ’05 Crimson Combine, a small showcase for New England players that took place at Harvard’s arena. In that piece, Smith was named to the First All-Star Team, with the added commentary, “Another pure scorer…had a hat trick…heavy on the puck,” which makes him sound like a Jerry Keefe-type of player already! In that tournament, Smith was on the ice against Ryan Fine, another ’05 who has recently committed to play college hockey at Boston University.
The following are other tweets and commentary on Smith after his commitment was announced:
Congrats to Will on his commitment! We look forward to monitoring his progress as he gets older.