The Nashville Predators announced their second signing on Saturday with Craig Smith signing a two-year, $4 million contract extension. With Smith’s contract set to expire next offseason, this deal will lock him up until the 2014-15 season. In the two year extension, Smith will receive $2 million each season.
Here is the press release sent out by the Nashville Predators.
Nashville, Tenn. (September 15, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forward Craig Smith to a two-year, $4 million contract that will pay him $2 million in both 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Smith, 23 (9/5/89), tied for seventh among all NHL rookies in goals (14) and assists (22), and ranked eighth in points (36) in 72 games during the 2011-12 season. The point and assist totals were the second highest by a rookie in Predators franchise history. The 6-0, 196-pounder also tied for second among first-year NHLers in power-play goals (6), and participated in the rookie portion of the 2012 All-Star Weekend.
A native of Madison, Wis., Smith was Nashville’s sixth choice, 98th overall (fourth round), in the 2009 Entry Draft. He spent two seasons at the University of Wisconsin from 2009-11, notching 76 points (27g-49a) in 82 games and helping the Badgers advance to the 2010 NCAA National Championship Game. He has represented the United States at the past two World Championships, being named one of Team USA’s three best players at the 2011 World Championships after leading the team in goals (3) and ranking second in points (6).
Last season, Craig Smith was a rookie and started the season out quite well. Because he came out of NCAA Hockey, Smith wasn’t used to the 82 game season, but rather a season between 40-50 games.
Smith is a valuable player that showed a lot of potential. The Nashville Predators have a lot of faith in him and look to see a better season this year. Last season, Smith had 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 72 games.
There are high expectations for him this upcoming season. Giving Craig Smith a $2 million per season contract will turn people’s heads and say that it is too much. But by the time he is “NHL ready”, which is when the new contract should kick in, it will be a steal!
Look for the skilled center and winger to get second or third line time most of the season.