Detroit Red Wings niche prospect forward Givani Smith
Another prospect to keep an eye on is Givani Smith. He’s another one of Ken Holland’s holdovers and is someone who can definitely add value to the Detroit Red Wings lineup night in and night out if he pans out.
Smith was selected by the Red Wings back in the second round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and made his Red Wings debut during the 2019-20 season prior to the pandemic shutdown. He made appearances in the Red Wings lineup again in 2020-21 but has not gotten an extended chance with the team yet.
The Red Wings should be looking for Smith to turn heads and earn a spot on the 2021-22 season roster. He’s been able to be that enforcer type forward who sticks up for his teammates out there, something the Red Wings would benefit from.
It’s not to say he cannot score, though; Smith could easily make a living being the disruptive net-front presence who creates trouble out in front. He’s got the makings of a forward who grinds it out down low and makes things happen.
In 2020-21, Smith logged 16 games for the Red Wings, where he scored one goal and added three assists for four total points. In his debut season, Smith logged 21 games where he had two goals and one assist for three points overall.
While the scoring may not be off the charts, there is a niche role that Smith can play. The hope should be that he can break out of camp like a bat out of hell and maybe earn a bottom-six role with the Red Wings.