Zack Smith
Zack Smith
31-Year-Old CenterC
Chicago Blackhawks
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Smith is one of the last holdovers from the Senators 2016-17 squad that was an overtime goal away from the Stanley Cup Final. The 31-year-old spent the first 12 seasons of his career with Ottawa, but he'll head to the Windy City for the 2019-20 campaign after being traded to the Blackhawks in exchange for Artem Anisimiov in July. Smith scored nine goals and 28 points while posting a minus-6 rating in 70 games last season, but he'll likely take on a reduced role with Chicago this campaign, and could even struggle to crack the lineup at times. Smith may be worth a waiver add at some point during the season for owners looking for contributions in the hits and PIM categories, but there's no reason to spend a pick on him during drafts this year. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year contract extension with the Senators in January of 2017 that will net him $3.25 million annually.
Headed to Windy City
CChicago Blackhawks
July 16, 2019
The Senators traded Smith to the Blackhawks in exchange for Artem Anisimov on Tuesday.
Anisimov is pretty clearly the better player involved in this one-for-one trade, but the Blackhawks are in need of cap space, and this move will save them $1.3 million on an annual basis over the next two seasons. Smith will likely be relegated to a bottom-six role with his new club, but he's versatile enough to slide up in the lineup when needed.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
At 30 years of age, Smith's numbers are heading in the wrong direction. Last year marked the first time since 2011-12 that he played at least 50 games but failed to register 20 points, and unlike in previous seasons, Smith didn't have much in the way of penalty minutes to make up for it, accumulating just 54 PIM. While staying out of the box helped the Senators, it's hurt Smith's fantasy value. Worse yet, Ottawa shocked the masses by waiving the special-teams pivot a week before the season. It's unlikely that he'll pass through waivers unclaimed, but the 2008 third-round (79th overall) draft pick will be a risky pick until his landing spot is known.
Smith had another solid yet underwhelming season in 2016-17, notching 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) and 137 shots on goal in 74 games -- but if you're looking to him for scoring, that’s your first mistake. The 29-year-old pivot has now surpassed the 30-point threshold in consecutive seasons, and there’s no reason to believe he won't be able to replicate that production in 2017-18. However, it's in the areas of hits (140 last year) and PIM (61) where Smith largely makes his fantasy bacon, as his 25 goals from two seasons ago should be considered a fluky total attributable to a career-high shooting percentage. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising to see his role on the power play dry up after he put up just one point while averaging 1:23 with the extra man last season.
Smith was one of the few pleasant surprises on an Ottawa team that underperformed last season, scoring a career-high 25 goals to go along with 11 assists, a plus-16 rating, 80 PIM and 175 hits. There may be some luck factored into that scoring, but the hits and penalty minutes were no fluke, as a healthy Smith spends delivers crushing blows and spends time in the box on a regular basis. The 2008 third-round pick saw an uptick in minutes with Clarke MacArthur (concussion) missing basically the entire year, but he’s earned a role in the top six, at least for the beginning of the season. The Alberta native heads into a contract year with a chance to prove his last campaign was just a stepping stone to bigger things. Considering his track record, it's not wise for fantay owners to consider the offense Smith offers to be anything more than a welcome bonus alongside his toughness.
Smith has never been a major contributor on the offensive end of the ice, but he sunk to new lows in 2014-15, due in no small part to injury. He appeared in just 37 games, posting a grand total of two goals and one assist. The 27-year-old shows a willingness to lay hits and was over the century mark in penalty minutes as recently as the 2013-14 campaign, so he'll be a name to keep an eye on in deeper specialty formats, but beyond that, there's little fantasy value to be found here.
Smith has proven his worth at the NHL level as a depth forward by killing penalties and dropping the gloves. He'll likely be an every day player again in 2014-15, but he doesn't bring much to the table outside of him PIM production. With just 22 points and a minus-9 rating in 82 games, Smith should only be a fantasy option in deeper leagues.
Smith played all 48 games for the Senators in 2013, and recorded a line of 4/11/15 to go along with 56 PIMs. He'll likely play a depth role again in 2013-14. Even though he's going to play every game and will likely provide a few penalty minutes, his fantasy value is pretty limited.
Centering Ottawa’s third line for most of the season, Smith showed a nice offensive side to his game in the early going of the year, notching 12 goals and nine assists in his first 41 games before tailing off for two goals and seven assists the rest of the way. This season, Smith will need to take on more of a tough-guy role with the departure of Matt Carkner during the offseason. Smith is not afraid to drop the gloves, having accumulated eight fighting majors in 2011-12. Look for the 24-year old center to get around 10 goals and 15 assists with at least 100 penalty minutes, after recording 98 last season. Smith is an underrated player on a young Sens team and is exactly the type of player teams love to have in the playoffs.
Smith should start the 2011-12 season playing on one of Ottawa's bottom two lines. He loves to agitate and throw his body around, opening up space for his linemates, and can chip in with the occasional goal as he does have a nice wrist shot and decent foot speed. Smith has the tendency to take some misguided penalties due to his aggressive nature so if he is to establish himself as a bonafide NHLer, he'll need to dial back the aggressiveness during certain in-game situations. If he can put up 10 goals and 15 assists, the 2011-12 season can be considered a success for the 23-year-old Smith.
Smith should start the season with the big club, centering the 4th line. He played in all six playoff games against the Penguins and carried himself well. Smith has nice speed and decent shot so he could add a bit of offense from the 4th line. That being said, Smith has limited fantasy value and should be avoided in all but the deepest of leagues.
Along with Peter Regin and Ilya Zubov, Smith is one of the young forward prospects who should see some time with the big club. Assistant GM Tim Murray is quite high on the gritty forward and Smith will be given every opportunity to make the Sens' roster out of camp. He has decent offensive potential who isn't afraid to get dirty in front of the net. If he can stick with Ottawa, look for him to get upwards of 15 goals and 15 assists.
Smith will start the 2008-09 season with Ottawa's AHL affiliate in Binghamton. Ottawa's third round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Smith has good leadership qualities and decent offensive upside. Look for him to challenge for a starting role in Ottawa in a couple of years.
More Fantasy News
Back in action
COttawa Senators
March 30, 2019
Smith (back) is in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Maple Leafs, per the NHL's media site.
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Status coming down to warmups
COttawa Senators
March 30, 2019
Smith (back) is a game-time decision for Saturday's meeting with the Maple Leafs, TSN 1200 Ottawa reports.
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Set to miss Thursday's tilt
COttawa Senators
March 28, 2019
Smith (back) is slated to sit out Thursday's matchup with Florida, TSN 1200 Ottawa reports.
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Out again Tuesday
COttawa Senators
March 26, 2019
Smith (back) will not dress for Tuesday's game against the Sabres, Craig Medaglia of reports.
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Out Saturday with back injury
COttawa Senators
March 23, 2019
Smith will not skate against Edmonton on Saturday because of a lingering back injury, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports.
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