With the first pick of three 4th round picks, Montreal went back to their American list and selected center Jack Smith from St. Cloud Cathedral of Wisconsin Highschool.
Smith is another “project” player drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the middle rounds of the draft. This pick is eerily similar to the Jordan Harris selection from 2018, though they play different positions, both players have similar development paths. They both have real good 200-foot awareness with strong potential but are more raw than other prospects and require higher level opposition to refine their game.
Smith is a balanced offensive generator. Though he does get more assists than goals he does possess a quality shot. He’s also a very fluid smart skater and is often in prime position due to this key quality. His tool box is loaded with both tangible and intangible qualities and it’s what makes him a complete player.
He can produce offensively but is often a contributor defensively as he is repeatedly on the move and continuously monitoring the play. He is often found below the dots helping out trying to break opposing cycles, retrieving loose pucks or adding himself as an option should a teammate need to pass the puck. His defensive side is among the better players in the draft and at pick 102 it shows tremendous value.
Another aspect of his game that is attractive is his post-season performances. In 15 games for St. Cloud Cathedral, he has recorded 22 goals adding 23 assists for a total of 45 points. He elevates his game when his needs him the most and has a positive impact in every way possible.
His showing of character and leadership is another reason why the Canadiens liked him as much as his teammates and coaches too. He’s a very low maintenance player and doesn’t have to be reminded of his responsibilities. He’s a team first player and is among the most mature out there.
Smith is committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he will join a great program and a competitive conference in the NCHC. He’ll get a chance to develop properly and adjust his game to bigger and stronger opposition. His overall game is already of high caliber and he’s very reliable in all 3 zones, he just needs to continue to create offense and be a presence on the ice for his team.