The Pittsburgh Penguins made a significant acquisition on Wednesday, trading for forward Reilly Smith from the Vegas Golden Knights. In exchange for Smith, the Penguins sent a 2024 third-round selection to Vegas. This trade adds depth and talent to Pittsburgh's bottom-six forward group, which struggled during the previous season.
Smith's performance during the postseason was remarkable, as he contributed four goals and 10 assists in 22 games. His impressive play was crucial in helping the Golden Knights capture the coveted Stanley Cup. Now, at the age of 32, Smith will bring his skills and experience to the Steel City, aiming to bolster the Penguins' bottom-six forward unit.
Smith could also find himself in a top-six role if Pittsburgh fails to re-sign Jason Zucker, creating an opportunity for the Ontario native to showcase his abilities further.
Smith has consistently reached the 50-point mark in four of his last six seasons, which shows his offensive capabilities. It is expected that he will continue to produce at a similar level during the upcoming 2023-2024 season, providing the Penguins with a valuable offensive contribution.
Furthermore, Smith's playoff experience and success will be invaluable to the Penguins as they look to make another deep postseason run. His ability to perform under pressure and contribute offensively in critical moments will be a valuable asset to the team's championship aspirations.
A look at Reilly Smith's NHL career
Reilly Smith has had a notable NHL career, starting with the Dallas Stars in 2012. After making his debut, he showed promise but spent some time in the AHL before returning to the Stars and making an impact. In 2013, Smith was part of a trade that sent him to the Boston Bruins, where he thrived and exceeded expectations in his first season. He continued to contribute to the Bruins' success, both in the regular season and the playoffs.
In 2015, Smith was traded to the Florida Panthers, where he recorded a career-high 50 points in his first season. The Panthers rewarded him with a five-year contract extension. However, in 2017, he was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Reilly Smith became an integral part of the Golden Knights' inaugural season, reaching the Stanley Cup Finals and scoring a career-high 60 points. He continued to excel in subsequent seasons, surpassing the 50-point mark and becoming an alternate captain.
After helping the Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup in 2023, Smith has now been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. His impact on Pittsburgh's roster and his potential to continue his offensive success will be closely watched.