I remain convinced that Tommy Albelin is an excellent comp for Ladislav Smid. This despite a more physical style than expected from #5 (especially after the whistle, lordy they must have trained him to go ape-doodle after he hears a whistle) and way less offense than expected so far in his career.
Why do I hold on to the comp?
The main reason is that they are extremely similar in style. A 1990 scouting report on Albelin stated “A talented finesse player with good potential but with improvement yet to be done. Skates well in both directions and is smooth in his pivots, but needs to improve general speed and quickness. Has good size but could use greater strength in his upper body. Needs to improve his ability to read and understand the play.”
Folks that’s pretty close to Smid in terms of style. Now for the numbers.
We didn’t see Albelin at Smid’s age (Tommy Albelin was a 23-year old rookie in 1987-88 for Quebec) and each player’s stats must be viewed through their place and time. I’m going to use Gabriel Desjardins’ NHLE’s this time with Albelin’s rookie season three years later to see if we can get an idea of progress over time.
- Smid (20) 77gp, 3-7-10 .130ppg
- Albelin (20NHLE) 32gp, 4-5-9 .281ppg
- Albelin (23) 60gp, 3-23-26 .433ppg
- As a 23-year old rookie Albelin was a -7 and had no PP or PK points. Smid at 20 had 1 powerplay assist and was -16 (only Matt Greene had a bigger number).
- Smid at 20 played on a team that scored 192 goals and was a part of 5% of the club’s scoring plays. Albelin at 23 played on a team that scored 271 goals and was part of 9.5% of the club’s scoring plays.
- Smid at 20 played on a team whose offensive leaders were Ryan Smyth, Ales Hemsky and Petr Sykora (all with 53 points). Albelin played on a team whose offensive leaders were Peter Stastny (111 points) and Michel Goulet (106 points).
Albelin was a better offensive player at 20 than Smid and so the improvement he made between 20 and 23 is unlikely for Smid. We don’t know TOI totals for Albelin but Smid had a healthy slice of playing time as a rookie (Smid played almost 1500 minutes in the NHL at age 20). Smid is emerging as a more physical player than Albelin was especially after the whistle.
However, his first instinct on almost every play in his zone while the play is alive is a stick play or a positional play. That’s Tommy Albelin. I’m prepared to say Ladislav Smid is a slightly more physical, less offensive version of Albelin but he’s still very similar in style and in result.
I cannot think of a better comp for Smid.