The Edmonton Oilers have signed restricted free agent Ladislav Smid to a 2-year contract. Rumor has it the contract is in the neighbourhood of 1.5M which means it’s an overpay based on what he brings every night.
Smid’s scouting report suggested he would bring more offense than he has, and his defensive ability has kept him out of the top 4-blue so far in his career. He is 23 years old with a large number of GP for his age (202) and that is the main contributor to the overpay.
As time rolls along I have more respect for Redline report, as they seem to correctly identify these young men on their draft day and identify their future. Here’s what they said about Smid:
- Maintains great gap control and always squares up to the puckhandler. Has good poise and patience to move puck out of zone with crisp outlets and good decisions under checking pressure. Steadying influence along blue line. Can make long home run passes through neutral zone to beat trap and transition from defence to “O.” Plays angles well and cuts off passing lanes. Great stamina – plays huge minutes. Best asset is intelligence and natural hockey sense. Sticks up for teammates. Plays solid, mistake-free game in own zone and is excellent positionally. Reads and anticipates developing plays well. Good laterally, but 1st step and straightaway speed are average. Is not good as either a PP quarterback or trigger-man— has weak shot and makes poor decisions in puck distribution.
Smid has value, and later in his career when ability and experience reach a certain point I have no doubt he’ll help a team win (if he stays healthy). As it is, the Oilers are paying him too well to get there, due exclusively to an early start to his NHL career.
UPDATE: Jason Gregor is reporting the deal as 1.3M times two seasons. I think that’s a fair price.