By Spokane Chiefs
SPOKANE, Wash. / TORONTO, Ont. – Spokane Chiefs’ defenseman Ty Smith has been named captain of Team Orr at the upcoming 2018 Sherwin-Williams Top Prospects Game in Guelph, Ontario, as announced by the Canadian Hockey League on Wednesday. The game, which will take place on Jan. 25, features the top 40 CHL prospects heading into this summer’s 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
“It’s a honor to be selected to be the captain of Team Orr,” said Smith. “I’ve watched the Top Prospects Game on TV for years now and have watched friends and teammates participate. It was a goal of mine at the beginning of the season to make the roster and to be named captain makes it all that much more special.
“I’m looking forward to competing against and with many of my buddies from across the CHL as well as meeting some new players. I’m very excited!”
Smith, 17, is having a standout second year with the Chiefs, ranking sixth among all Western Hockey League defensemen with 43 points (6 goals, 37 assists). The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Lloydminster, Alberta product leads all Chiefs in power play assists with 15, is tied for the lead in overall assists with 37 and ranks second on the team in plus/minus at +18.
Smith was originally selected by the Chiefs with the first overall pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft before earning the team’s 2016-17 Rookie of the Year and Scholastic Player of the Year awards following a dynamic first season. As a 16-year-old, he racked up 32 points (5 goals, 27 assists), good enough for 13th among all WHL rookies.
In November, he was named by the NHL Central Scouting Service as a ‘Player to Watch’ for the upcoming draft, earning an ‘A’ rating, indicating a potential first-round choice.
Internationally, he captained the Canadian team to a silver medal at the 2016 Youth Winter Olympics and also wore the ‘C’ at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, earning silver. Most recently, he served as an alternate captain for Team Canada at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, capturing gold.
Smith is the 14th Chief to participate in the prestigious event and the first to be named captain. Forward Kailer Yamamoto represented Spokane last year, earning top-three finishes in multiple skills competition categories and picking up a goal and an assist in the game for Team Orr.
Since 2010, Team Orr captains have included notable names such as Nico Hischier, Connor McDavid and Tyler Seguin, among others. Joining Smith in the leadership group for Team Orr will be Jared McIsaac (Halifax) and Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie). Forward Joseph Veleno of the Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) will captain Team Cherry, joined by Evan Bouchard (London) and Ryan Merkley (Guelph).
Other former Chiefs to play include: Ty Jones (1997), Derek Schutz (1997), Brad Ference (1997), Kyle Rossiter (1998), Jeff Lucky (2001), Brad Schell (2002), Kevin Armstrong (2006), Michael Grabner (2006), Drayson Bowman (2007), Mich Wahl (2008), Jared Cowen (2009), Levko Koper (2009), Kailer Yamamoto (2017).