Meet Newest Capitals Forward Craig Smith
The Washington Capitals made some major moves on Thursday, trading Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Craig Smith and a number of draft picks. Here’s what to know about the newest member of the team.
WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals made some major moves on Thursday, trading Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Craig Smith and a number of draft picks.
General manager Brian MacLellan made a deal with the future in mind, saying that the trade sets the team up well for the years to come. With the deal, they received a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 third-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick. Along with that, though, they acquired forward Craig Smith, who will make his debut Saturday against the New York Rangers and wear No. 16.
The 33-year-old carries a cap hit of $3.1 million and is a pending unrestricted free agent. Here's everything to know about the newest addition to the mix.
Smith is a versatile forward who has spent most of his time playing on the right side in Boston, though he has experience at center. Before coming to Boston in 2020, Smith played nine years with the Nashville Predators, with six of those seasons spent playing under current Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette.
The 6-0, 204-pound forward is a solid two-way presence who loves to shoot the puck. He has four 20-goal seasons and two 50-point campaigns over the course of his NHL career, though his production has dropped off this season as his ice time has decreased with the Bruins. He is averaging 10:15 minutes a night right now, the second-lowest amount of ice time in Boston among skaters with at least 40 games played this season.
Through 42 games so far, Smith has four goals and six assists, along with 51 shots, 33 hits, eight blocks, 14 takeaways and a +/- rating of plus-4. He takes good care of the puck and is also a strong, mobile skater with good awareness.
Overall, Smith is a strong veteran presence, has been part of winning organizations and reads the ice well. His second-half production also usually picks up, and he has a history of doing quite a bit of damage. He has also gotten some power-play time over the course of his career.
Also, he is another right-hand shot and another depth option for the Capitals, who lost Hathaway in the trade and also have Anthony Mantha on the injured reserve with a day-to-day upper-body injury. He can also play a fourth-line role and potentially interchange with Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Lars Eller, who are also pending UFAs.