"Sharks are going to waste his and Celebrini’s career": NHL fans react to Will Smith signing entry-level deal with San Jose

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Montreal Canadiens
San Jose Sharks signed top draft pick Will Smith to an entry-level contract

The San Jose Sharks signed their fourth-overall draft pick, Will Smith, to an entry-level contract on Tuesday. Smith was selected by the Sharks in the 2023 NHL Draft after a standout freshman season at Boston College.

However, some NHL fans are skeptical that San Jose is not the best place for Smith's development.

One fan commented:

"Sharks are gonna waste his and Celebrini's career," referring to presumptive first overall pick Macklin Celebrini, who San Jose is expected to draft this summer after winning the draft lottery.

The comment implies criticism that the struggling Sharks franchise will hinder the potential of their incoming young stars.

Another fan wished well for Smith, saying:

"So happy for you Will. What an amazing future you have ahead of you! Go Sharks!!"

A colllege fan of Smith commented:

"We will miss you Will. Good luck in the nhl you got this !" on X.

Here are some other fan reactions:

"Sharks fans you are really going to like this kid. I watched as much BC as I could find this year." one fan wrote on X.
"He’s gonna be awesome. Plus Celebrini?! Woah" another fan wrote.
"“Whose the kid the in the club,” a user wrote.

As a freshman at Boston College, Smith racked up an impressive 71 points (25 goals, 46 assists) over 41 games.

Will Smith on Joining San Jose Sharks

When speaking about the decision to turn pro, Smith acknowledged it was difficult to leave Boston College but felt the timing was right.

"I think it was time to take the next step," Smith said. "It's the best league in the world and you're getting the best players every single night. That's definitely something that factored in wanting to make that decision."

Will Smith formed close bonds with his BC teammates, making the choice more difficult.

"It was a really tough decision because of just how much I love BC and my teammates there," he admitted. "We had a really special bond."

Smith's hockey prowess extends beyond his college career. He played a crucial role in the United States' gold medal victory at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, contributing nine points (five goals, four assists) in seven games.

Sharks general manager Mike Grier expressed his enthusiasm about Smith's decision, stating,

"Will is a dynamic and exciting young center and we are thrilled to have him join the organization after an impressive season with Boston College.
"We felt that this is the next best step for his development to becoming a full-time NHL player, and we are looking forward to seeing him compete at the highest level of hockey."

Fans eagerly anticipate the impact Will Smith will make on the San Jose Sharks. But will the rebuilding Sharks be the right fit for him off the bat?

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