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Ty Smith returned to WHL’s Spokane Chiefs

Larry Brunt/Spokane Chiefs

 

Ty Smith is heading back to the Western Hockey League.

The New Jersey Devils returned their first-round selection from the 2018 National Hockey League Draft to the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs Tuesday as they made their final cuts ahead of opening night for the 2019-20 NHL Regular Season.

Smith’s return makes the 1-1-1-0 Chiefs immediate contenders within their division and conference. Last season, he posted 69 points (7G-62A) in 57 games, including five power-play goals and one game-winning goal. He added nine points (1G-8A) in 15 games as the Chiefs advanced to the Western Conference Championship.

Smith led all defencemen in scoring in the U.S. Division and finished fourth overall among all WHL defencemen. His 62 assists were tied for the lead among all WHL defenders.

The first-overall selection at the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft was subsequently named the recipient of the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Defencemen of the Year at the 2019 WHL Awards in Red Deer, Alta. The CHL honoured Smith later that month by recognizing him as the recipient of the CHL Defencemen of the Year. At the 2018 WHL Awards, Smith was named the recipient of the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Trophy as the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year.

During the 2017-18 WHL Regular Season, Smith broke a franchise record with seven points (2G-5A) against the Prince George Cougars on February 23, 2018. His performance in the 9-2 win broke a 32-year-old franchise record for points in a single game by a defenceman.

Named co-captain of the Chiefs ahead of the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season, Smith represented Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in British Columbia. He posted three assists in five games. His return also signals that Smith could be a leading member for Canada’s team at the 2020 edition of the event in the Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound product of Lloydminster, Alta., has appeared in 194 WHL regular season games, posting 176 points (26G-150A), including 10 power-play goals and seven game-winning goals. He’s also appeared in 22 WHL playoff games, posting 16 points (3G-13A), including one game-winning goal.

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