Former NAHL and Austin forward CJ Smith signs NHL contract
March 29, 2017
UMass-Lowell junior and former NAHL and Austin Bruins forward C.J. Smith has signed an entry-level NHL contract with the Buffalo Sabres, according to multiple reports.
Smith, 22, just finished up his Junior season with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks, where he put up 51 points in 41 games. His college career has been productive from the start – he led the River Hawks in scoring in his freshman season of 2014-15 and did so against as a Sophomore. Altogether, he has notched 125 points in 120 career college games.
The Des Moines, Iowa native was a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award for best college hockey player this past season for a UMass-Lowell squad that just missed out on the Frozen Four, losing to Notre Dame in overtime this past weekend at the NCAA Northeast Regional Final in Manchester, NH. Prior to the NCAA Tournament, Smith was named the MVP of the Hockey East Tournament, in which the River Hawks were champions.
Smith is the Bruins single-season record holder for goals in a season, scoring 30 in 2012-13. He played in Austin in two seasons from 2011-13 and also appeared in the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament for the NAHL Selects Team. In 113 career NAHL games, Smith recorded 86 points, which included 43 goals and 43 assists.
He is expected to be in the lineup for the Sabres’ game against New York Islanders on Sunday.