Givani Smith – Player Profile – Guelph Storm

Height:  6’2”

Weight:  205 pounds

Date of birth: February 27, 1998, Toronto Ontario

Position:  Right Wing

Shoots:  Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 13th overall, 2014 Priority Selection (Barrie Colts)

Smith played his Minor Midget hockey for the Mississauga Senators during the 2013-2014 season. In 26 games, he scored 9 goals and 8 assists to go along with 71 penalty minutes.  He added 4 goals and 4 assists in 7 playoff games.

The Barrie Colts made Smith their first round pick at the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. He would split his rookie season with the Colts and the Guelph Storm. He recorded just 4 assists in 31 games for the Colts before being traded to the Storm along with C.J. Garcia for Chadd Bauman and Ben Harpur.

Smith, the younger brother of former OHL’er and Dallas Stars prospect Gemel Smith, found a home in Guelph. It didn’t take long for Smith to become a regular in the top 6 rotation and come playoff time was logging big minutes.

Givani Smith of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Givani Smith of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

The move to Guelph paid off for Smith. In 30 games he would score 7 goals and add 8 assists and 56 penalty minutes. In 9 playoff games, he scored twice and added 3 assists. Smith also played in the OHL Cup, the OHL Gold Cup and Represented Canada Red at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17.

Smith is a power forward who finishes his checks and has the ability to throw devastating hits without going out of his way to look for a big hit. He is very strong and a difficult player to beat down low and can dominate the walls.

Perhaps his greatest asset is his work ethic. The Storm has certainly had their difficulties this season, currently sitting in last place in the OHL. But Smith just never seems to give up despite the team’s position or the score in a game. To put it in simple terms, Smith does something and you notice him on just about every shift.

Smith has an NHL calibre shot that is heavy and accurate. He has soft hands and capable of creating plays. His skating could use some work but it isn’t a detriment to him. He currently sits third in Storm scoring on 15 goals (on 119 shots for a 12.6 shooting percentage) and 11 assists in 39 games. He plays in any situation as well. Three of his goals have come on the powerplay while one coming shorthanded.

Smith also got off to a terribly slow start. Through his first 22 games, he had just 4 goals and 7 assists, with 3 of those goals coming in a game on November 1st against the Kitchener Rangers. But once the calendar flipped to December, he began to find the net and his consistency, never going more than two games without registering at least one point. Since then, he’s 11 goals and 4 assists in 17 games.

I don’t think we’ve seen the best Smith has to offer. The lack of a true playmaker on the Storm has had on impact on his production. With the Storm virtually guaranteed to miss the playoffs, NHL scouts won’t get an extended look at Smith. He can and should make Team Canada at the Under 18’s following his season and being surrounded by a higher quality of talent, the best he has to offer could come in that tournament.

Smith was ranked on NHL Central Scouting’s list of players to watch as a C prospect on their preliminary list and again on their November list. A C prospect is considered a fourth, fifth or sixth round pick.

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