Thursday, March 29, 2012
Reilly Smith makes NHL debut
By Mark Stepneski
Dallas Stars forward Reilly Smith made his NHL debut Wednesday night in Edmonton. He didn’t see a lot of ice time, but that didn’t take away from the moment.
“I was just happy that my feet got under me as soon as I hopped over the bench,” Smith said. “I was definitely pretty nervous. I actually got a pretty good opportunity my shift. That settled the nerves a little bit. I am pretty happy with the way things went.”
He got off a shot on goal on his first shift Wednesday night, but his wrist shot from the slot was stopped by Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Smith, who just wrapped up his college career at Miami University, signed an entry-level contract with the Stars on Sunday.
“It was definitely a little different from college,” said Smith. “In college everyone is running around, here there is definitely a lot more structure. There are a lot better players who can slow the game down. It was definitely a lot different, but hopefully I’ll be able to make a good transition to it.”
Smith, 20, played five shifts in the game for a total of 4:05 in ice time.
“He only played four minutes, but he looked pretty good out there,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “He got a shot early and the boys were calling goal right away when he got his shot. We’ll get him a little bit more ice time the next time we go, but it was good to get his feet wet tonight.”