2013-14 Stats: 64 GP, 16 G, 24 A with the Oshawa Generals (OHL).
Why He's Valuable: Hunter Smith was eligible a year ago but no NHL team took him. This season, he'll be sought after because of his strong year with the Oshawa Generals. Brock Otten from OHL Prospects fills in the blanks:
His ability to disrupt goaltenders on the powerplay can be likened to the way the Bruins use Zdeno Chara with the man advantage in the NHL. He's so big and strong that OHL defenseman had a really tough time tying him up. And his hands are actually quite good, at least good enough to allow him to finish off plays in close or redirect shots. He's also a very physical player who can change the momentum of the game with a big hit on the forecheck, or with a fight. As the season went on, his ability to play in transition improved too and he shows flashes of being able to be a solid puck possession guy. There's too much to like for NHL scouts to pass him up again, especially after his terrific playoff performance. I think he's a 2nd rounder at this point.
Why He'll Be Picked Too Soon: Smith passed through the draft, so he is an older prospect and is more likely to mature quickly. He blossomed this year, which scouts will see as real growth. Finally, in a shallow draft year, teams will be more likely to select role players early.