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San Jose Sharks Select Will Smith No. 4 Overall in 2023 NHL Draft

The San Jose Sharks were happy to take forward Will Smith with the No. 4 overall pick.

Will Smith, the highly regarded prospect from the USA U18 National Team Development Program (NTDP), was selected fourth overall in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Standing at 6 feet tall and weighing 172 pounds, Smith is a right-shot center with immense talent. The San Jose Sharks were happy to take him with the No. 4 overall pick.

As the center of the NTDP’s top line, Smith has showcased his creativity and offensive prowess while maintaining defensive reliability. Despite the U18 team having fewer top-tier draft prospects this year, Smith stands out as one of the few considered to be a first-round caliber talent. His above-average skating ability, particularly his maneuverability, gives him an advantage in all areas of the ice. He possesses the agility to quickly adjust defensive coverage and the speed to leave defenders behind on rushes.

Smith’s presence in the offensive zone draws the attention of multiple defenders, relying on his exceptional vision and passing skills to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. He uses a number of maneuvers to confuse his opponents. Predicting his next move becomes a daunting task for defenders, as he expertly changes direction at a moment’s notice.

With the potential to become a play-driving forward, Smith has the ability to generate offense in abundance. His hunger for the puck and his ability to elevate the performance of those around him make him a valuable asset on the ice. Smith’s puck-handling skills, even at high speeds, are mesmerizing, as he seamlessly blends deception, feints, and fakes into his movements, leaving opposing players in his wake.

Renowned hockey analyst Craig Button describes Smith’s game as having “subtle excellence,” highlighting his ability to excel when faced with varying challenges. Smith’s impeccable decision-making, precise passing, and ability to create shooting opportunities make him a player to watch closely.

As Smith embarks on his NHL journey, teams will need to be acutely aware of his presence on the ice, as underestimating him could lead to disastrous consequences. Will Smith is set to leave an indelible mark on the game, captivating fans and leaving opponents in awe of his remarkable talent.

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