Craig Smith

Craig Smith

32-Year-Old Right WingRW
Boston Bruins
2021 Fantasy Outlook
One of the NHL's most underrated depth players, Smith racked up 13 goals and 32 points in 54 games in his first season in Boston. He finished with a plus-21 rating, although his power-play production (six points, 1:32 per game) was down considerably from his time in Nashville. Smith's strong scoring rates at even strength should continue, but it's difficult to see his time with the man advantage increasing, especially with Taylor Hall electing to re-sign in Boston. Smith has his uses and he shouldn't cost an arm and leg on draft night, but his upside is pretty limited. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $9.3 million contract with the Bruins in October of 2020.
On track to play
RWBoston Bruins
April 2, 2022
Smith (illness) skated on the third line during Saturday's morning practice, indicating he'll be in the lineup for the evening's matchup with Columbus.
ANALYSIS
Smith should slot into a third-line role and a spot on the second power-play unit against the Blue Jackets following his one-game absence. He's notched 15 goals and 31 points through 59 contests this season.
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NHL Stats
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2021 NHL Game Log
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2020 NHL Game Log
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2021–22 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    14:25
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    1:33
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:01
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2019–20
13:25
2:18
0:01
2020–21
14:53
1:32
0:01
2021–22
14:25
1:33
0:01
Bruins Depth Chart
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Bruins Power Play Depth Chart
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
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2013
2012
Smith joined the Bruins on a three-year, $9.3 million deal in October after spending his first nine seasons in the league with the Predators. The 31-year-old winger's role was reduced dramatically during his final campaign with Nashville, as he averaged just 13:25 of ice time after averaging over 15 minutes on a nightly basis during the previous season, but he was still pretty productive, posting 18 goals, 13 helpers, 184 shots on goal and seven power-play points in 69 games. He may get a shot on Boston's top line to start the 2020-21 campaign, as David Pastrnak is expected to be sidelined until mid-February while recovering from offseason hip surgery, but he'll likely settle into a third-line role whenever Pasta is ready to return. Smith will, however, see plenty of ice time with the man advantage as a member of the Bruins' second power-play unit, which will help bolster his offensive totals. Smith is still more than capable of putting up 20-plus goals and 35-plus points over the course of a full season, particularly now that he'll be surrounded by Boston's top-notch supporting cast, and he should average over 2.5 shots per game, making him a solid depth addition in the later rounds of this year's fantasy drafts.
As far as bottom-six forwards in fantasy go, Smith is as reliable as they come. In five of the last six seasons, he has scored at least 20 goals. His assist numbers have varied, but he's also a plus player in the plus-minus department and usually fires more than 200 shots on goal while playing under 16 minutes per game. His last two campaigns have been very similar -- 25 goals, 51 points, 229 shots on net and a 10.9 shooting percentage in 2017-18; 21 goals, 38 points, 205 shots on net and a 10.2 shooting percentage in 2018-19. Assuming he's able to post a shooting percentage above 10.0 for a third straight season, owners can expect another 20-plus goal, 35-plus point output from Smith in 2019-20, making him a desirable depth option in most fantasy formats.
Coming into the 2016-17 season, Smith's future in Nashville looked uncertain. Once considered to be one of the Predators' top offensive weapons – he finished third in team scoring in 2013-14 with 52 points – Smith's production was on a sharp downswing. He finished the 2016-17 season with just 29 points – his third straight year of declining production. Not even the Golden Knights wanted him, as the Preds left him unprotected in the expansion draft, and he went untouched. However, a sharp turnaround would soon materialize, as the Preds traded for center Kyle Turris in November, and put him on a line with Smith and Kevin Fiala. The “SmurF” line went on to record a combined 129 points over the remainder of the regular season, making them one of the most productive second units in the NHL. For the season as a whole, Smith finished with 51 points in 79 games, just one point shy of his aforementioned career high. Assuming the Preds keep their second line together, look for more of the same from Smith this season as his career turnaround continues.
A 52-point scorer for the Preds in 2013-14, Smith has seen his output decline for three straight seasons, including failing to crack the 30-point plateau in 2016-17 (12 goals, 17 assists). He also saw his average ice time decline to a career-low 13:49 per game, lost his spot on the power play, and skated frequently on the Preds’ third line. Unfortunately, with three seasons left on his five-year, $21 million contract, teams haven't been lining up to take Smith off the Predators’ hands, so they have little choice but to let him play and hope that he eventually rediscovers his scoring touch. However, with the club having reacquired veteran winger Scott Hartnell in the offseason, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Smith open the season in a bottom-six capacity once again. At best, he’s worth a late-round flier in deeper fantasy formats.
The Preds have to be concerned about Smith, who saw his offensive output decline for the second consecutive season last year (37 points in 82 games). The trouble is, the team signed him to a five-year, $21.25 million contract extension last July, hoping he would show signs of the player who scored a career-high 52 points two seasons ago. Oddly enough, his goal-scoring has remained relatively consistent – he notched 24, 23, and most recently 21 tallies in the past three seasons – but his assist total dropped to a brutal 16 last year (just over half his tally from two years ago). That could be the result of being flipped between the second and third lines for a good portion of the season, as Smith ended up with his lowest average ice time since 2012-13. With four years remaining on his contract, the Preds have little choice but to keep rolling Smith as their everyday No. 2 right winger in the hopes that he’s finally able to put it all together. There’s hope yet, as this is only his age-27 season, but his offensive upside is limited to about 50 points and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him get usurped by one of the team’s up-and-coming young forwards.
After breaking out for 24 goals and 52 points in 2013-14, Smith put together another successful campaign last season, notching 23 goals and 44 points in 82 games. The 25-year-old was a force with the man advantage, lighting the lamp six times and adding three assists. Not only is he turning into a reliable and consistent 20-goal scorer, but Smith also showed that he could help fantasy owners in other categories by gathering 44 PIM, putting 252 shots on goal, and finishing with a plus-11 mark last season. With the scoring fairly spread out in Nashville, Smith probably doesn't have the ability to take another notable leap, but he should offer the sort of stable, predictable offensive production that most fantasy rosters could certainly use.
Smith finished the 2013-14 season on a relative tear, notching 11 points in his last 10 games, allowing him to finish third on the team in scoring with a career-high 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists). The impressive finish also allowed him to set career-bests across just about every other offensive category, including shots on goal (215), shooting percentage (11.2%) and plus-minus (plus-16). He’s positioned to fill a feature role with the Predators in 2014-15, perhaps even as a member of the top line. Furthermore, given that the Preds are now deeper up front, Smith will also enjoy a significantly-improved supporting cast, which should also enhance his continued development as a bona fide top-six NHL forward. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on Smith in the middle rounds of your draft -- the upside is there to make him a possible breakout player this season.
Smith fell into the dreaded sophomore slump last year after registering 36 points in 72 games during as a rookie in 2011-12. Last year, he tallied just 12 points in 44 games and even spent some time at AHL Milwaukee to get his game together following a lengthy slump. At 23 years of age, Smith still has a distance to go before he enters his peak scoring years, so the Preds are understandably being patient with him. Looking ahead, he should open this season as the team's second-line right winger. But on an offensively-challenged squad, Smith's totals will likely be low.
Smith started his rookie season with a bang back in October, scoring 14 points in his first 15 games. However, it took him another 32 games to score his next 14 points, and he finished the season with just 36 in 72 games, seeing the majority of his ice time in a checking-line role. It was very likely a case of rookie fatigue setting in for the highly-skilled youngster last season, a situation he should be able to avoid this year. He continues to have tremendous upside – draft accordingly.
More Fantasy News
Won't play against Devils
RWBoston Bruins
Illness
March 31, 2022
Smith is under the weather and won't be in the lineup against New Jersey on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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Keeps rolling along
RWBoston Bruins
March 19, 2022
Smith posted an assist in Friday's 4-2 win over the Jets.
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Warm ways continue
RWBoston Bruins
March 12, 2022
Smith scored two goals in a 3-2 win over Arizona on Saturday.
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Two-point effort Monday
RWBoston Bruins
March 8, 2022
Smith scored a goal and an assist in Monday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Kings.
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Hits jackpot in Vegas
RWBoston Bruins
March 3, 2022
Smith netted a hat trick in Thursday's 5-2 win over the Golden Knights.
ANALYSIS
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