When we talk about the Buffalo Sabres prospects playing in the AHL we focus on the big names. Players like Brendan Guhle, Alex Nylander, Justin Bailey, Nick Baptiste and Linus Ullmark. However, another prospect is stealing all the attention down in Rochester.
C.J. Smith is leading the Amerks who are playing great hockey right now. The 22-year-old winger has six goals and 19 points in 19 games this season. Smith was signed as a college free agent out of Umass-Lowell at the end of last season.
The Iowa native was a highly sought-after free agent scoring 51 points in 41 games in his senior season. Most people believe that the Sabres don’t have luck with college free agents (see Jimmy Vesey, Cal Petersen and Will Butcher), but they may have a good one on their hands in Smith.
If he continues to play well you have to wonder how long Jason Botterill can look the other way before giving Smith the call. The Sabres could absolutely use a player who could provide more offense. Bailey, Baptiste and Kyle Criscuolo have all got their chance with the big club. Have to think that Smith is the next one in line to get an opportunity to show what he can do at the NHL level.