The offseason is already in full swing as the Toronto Maple Leafs have made a couple of moves today.
One of the most intriguing is the extension of Ben Smith. Smith, a centerman has been given a one-year extension worth $650k. In 36 games this past season, he scored two goals and two assists for a total of four points.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed Ben Smith to a one-year, $650k contract.
— NHLNumbers (@NHLnumbers) May 2, 2017
The numbers aren’t great on the surface and they aren’t much better when taking a deep dive into his shot metrics either.
Out of players that have played 20 or more games, Smith had the worst CF% at 5v5. The same goes for GF% and FF% as well. Where people fall in love with Smith is the amount of face-offs he wins on a regular basis. Unfortunately for him, there is no correlation between face-offs and these shot metrics.
Another reason to sign Smith is the help he brings with the expansion draft. He helps meet requirements for the Leafs and can be buried with the Marlies. It is disconcerting that he will occupy a slot with the Leafs, while they’re so close to the 50 contract limit.
While the initial optics are bad, it does look like the contract helps out the team in a few ways. It may not be on the ice but it will help the team nonetheless.