Whenever you bring up the name Jeremy Smith around the hockey circles one of the first things that usually comes up is what a great person he is. It’s stories such as his that are why I greatly enjoyed covering the game from the AHL level because Smith’s path to making his NHL debut this season is one that went clean through the ladder in order to achieve it.
Smith was drafted in the second round of the 2007 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators. In his first professional playing season, 2009-10, he would spend a massive majority of it as a member of the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL. That season ended with him and his Cyclones teammates lifting the Kelly Cup. It was the second time in team history that the Cyclones won the Kelly Cup.
Following the ECHL run Smith’s attention turned to duties with the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL. He played 128 career games with the Admirals before moving towards a journey that have him bounce around a bit over these last four seasons: Springfield Falcons, Providence Bruins, Iowa Wild on loan, back to the Providence Bruins, and then the San Antonio Rampage.
At the age of 27-years old, after a career mainly spent on the AHL map, Smith finally had his opportunity to play in the NHL as a member of the Colorado Avalanche on Valentine’s Day this year. He made 37-saves in a losing effort on the road against the New Jersey Devils – but was a standout player on the night. More than anything, it was the hopeful beginning of a new path and the one that Smith has worked so hard for so long to finally be on.
Cheers to the Nashville Predators for letting me swing in for practice and a big thanks to the Colorado Avalanche and Jeremy Smith for providing me the time to hear from our ol’ Milwaukee Admirals player all grown up! Coming up next we’ll hear from Vern Fiddler and Harry Zolnierczyk.
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