Reilly Smith may only have 17 games of NHL experience under his belt, but he’s playing like a star since getting a promotion to the Dallas Stars’ second line. Smith has goals in back-to-back games as he gets a chance to showcase his skills alongside Derek Roy and Loui Eriksson. His second career goal came Sunday in a losing effort against the Calgary Flames.
Smith was a third round pick for Dallas in the 2009 draft and played three seasons of college hockey at Miami University (Ohio). After a 30 goal, 48 point junior season with the Redhawks, Smith turned pro and appeared in three games for the Stars last season. During the NHL lockout, he had 11 goals and 27 points for the Texas Stars of the AHL, making him an easy choice to join the parent club when the work stoppage ended. He got off to a slow start with no points in his first 12 games of the season, but seems to have hit his stride mid-way through February with increased ice time and more skilled linemates.
The next game for the Stars is Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks, the team Smith got his first career goal against on Friday. With the way his line is performing there should be no reason to split up Smith, Roy and Eriksson as the Stars can use all possible offense with starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen out. Smith may not stay on a top-two line all season, but he’s definitely shown the Stars that he belongs there at some point in the future. His brother Brendan is a rookie defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings, but is currently injured.