• Sharks' Smith Ticketed For Return To Fourth Line

    News: Ben Smith is a leading candidate to center the Sharks' fourth line when the regular season opens, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports.
    Analysis: The Sharks plugged Ben Smith in on their checking line after acquiring him from the Blackhawks at the trade deadline last season, with the pivot recording two goals and five points in 19 games with San Jose. His offensive production wasn't helped by playing alongside fringe NHL talents like Barclay Goodrow, John Scott, Mike Brown, and Daniil Tarasov, but coach Peter DeBoer has pledged a desire to ice four offensive-minded lines in 2015-16. Playing alongside more skilled options could help Smith elevate his scoring production, though likely not to a level that will make him a particularly attractive fantasy option.
  • Smith Adds An Apple In Sharks Win

    News: Ben Smith had an assist and a plus-1 rating in just 8:09 of ice time in Monday's win over the Penguins.
    Analysis: Since arriving in San Jose at the trade deadline, Ben Smith has one goal and two assists. That looks good, but he's seen progressively less ice time in each game, getting a healthy 17:10 in his Sharks debut, then working down to 14:10, then 12:38, and a paltry 8:09 in Monday's match. Smith is a good skater and can drive possession, but his offensive outburst will be muted unless he gets more ice time.
  • Smith Impresses in Sharks Debut

    News: Ben Smith wasted no time making an impact with his new team Monday, potting a goal -- the game winner -- and chipping in an assist in a 4-0 win over the Canadiens.
    Analysis: Just hours after being traded to the Sharks from Chicago, Ben Smith opened the scoring 6:51 into the first period. He spent the majority of the game centering the third line between Tomas Hertl and Tommy Wingels which -- at least in theory -- could be a productive combo for Smith with the skill of Hertl and toughness of Wingels. Smith also went 7-for-10 in the faceoff dot, so all in all, it was an impressive debut for the 26-year-old.
  • Hawks Deal Smith To Sharks

    News: Ben Smith was traded to the Sharks along with a conditional 2017 seventh-round draft pick in exchange for forward Andrew Desjardins, Mark Spector of Sportsnet.ca reports.
    Analysis: Ben Smith has only five goals and nine points in 61 games this season, and figures to settle into a fourth-line role with his new squad, just like he did with the Blackhawks. The 26-year-old, who is signed through the end of the 2015-16 season, is expected to debut with his new team Monday against the Canadiens.
  • Hawks' Smith Healthy Scratch Friday

    News: Ben Smith, who has not recorded a point in the Blackhawks' last 19 games, was a healthy scratch on Friday, Chicago Tribune reports.
    Analysis: Ben Smith was a healthy scratch for the first time this year as he had skated in each of the Blackhawks' previous 55 games this season. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville went with the two recent callups from Rockford - Kyle Cumiskey and Ryan Hartman - against the Devils instead of Smith. While some of his stats like hits and blocks have increased this season, his goals and assists are down after a big 2013-14 season where he had 14 goals and a dozen assists in 75 games. For this season, Smith has five goals and four assists, but he last registered a point on Dec. 27 with an assist. Smith has not scored a goal since Dec. 20. He signed a two-year contract extension with the Blackhawks last summer.
  • Two Points For Hawks' Smith

    News: Ben Smith assisted on Jonathan Toews' second-period goal and potted an empty-netter in Tuesday's win over the Wild.
    Analysis: A nice little game for Ben Smith -- his second two-point effort in a week. But the net's a lot easier to score on when there's no goalie in the way, and Smith hasn't shown a great deal of scoring ability at the NHL level, so he can be ignored in the vast majority of fantasy formats.
  • Smith Chips In Two Points For 'Hawks

    News: Ben Smith assisted on Klas Dahlbeck's first NHL goal and scored one of his own in Thursday's win over the Bruins.
    Analysis: With just five points to show for 29 games this year, Ben Smith hasn't been much of a fantasy asset, and there's no reason to think he's going to contribute much more offense than that unless he sees an increase in playing time.
  • Hawks' Smith Nets First Goal

    News: Ben Smith scored on his only shot of the night in a 3-2 loss to the Predators on Thursday.
    Analysis: In his first full season, Ben Smith netted 14 goals last year. It took him six games to record his first point this season, and skating mainly on the team's fourth line, he likely won't see a big spike in his numbers from a year ago.
  • Hawks' Smith Signs Two-Year Extension

    News: Ben Smith, who was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1, signed a two-year contract extension Friday to stay with the Blackhawks, ESPN Chicago reports.
    Analysis: The new contract is worth $1.5 million per year. Ben Smith, a 2008 sixth-round draft pick by the Hawks, played his first full season in the NHL this past season. He accumulated 14 goals and a dozen assists and was a plus-3 in 75 regular season games. Smith was mainly used on the fourth line, but saw some time as the second-line center in the playoffs.
  • Blackhawks' Smith Sends Game To Overtime

    News: Ben Smith tied Wednesday's game against the Kings with a third-period goal, his third of the postseason. The Blackhawks would go on to win, 5-4, in double overtime.
    Analysis: After the Kings had scored three unanswered goals to take a one-score lead at the end of the second period, Ben Smith answered quickly in the third to delay Los Angeles' advancement to the Stanley Cup Finals. Brandon Saad put a shot on goal, with Smith then scooping up the rebound and finding the back of the net at the 1:17 mark. Smith has five points this postseason and should remain a fourth-line player for the Blackhawks for the remainder of the series.