Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the team has signed forward Cole Smith to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 at the AHL level for the 2021-22 season.
Smith made his NHL debut with the Predators in the 2020-21 season opener on Jan. 14 vs. Columbus, recording one shot in 5:57 of ice time. The 6-foot-3, 197-pound winger then spent the remainder of the campaign with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, helping them to a 21-9-1-2 record, the third-best mark in the league. Smith appeared in 23 games for the Wolves, posting five goals and 10 points, tied for the sixth-most among team rookies. Prior to the start of the NHL season, Smith made his professional debut with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and tallied three points (1g-2a) in five contests.
Undrafted, Smith was signed as a free agent in March 2020 following a four-year career at the University of North Dakota, where he posted 51 points (24g-27a) in 137 games. In his final season with the Fighting Hawks, he contributed a career-high 18 points (11g-7a) en route to winning the NCHC’s regular-season title. The Brainerd, Minn., native earned multiple team awards while at North Dakota, including the Cliff “Fido” Purpur Award in 2018-19, given to the Fighting Hawks player who exemplifies hard work and determination, and the Most Improved Player Award following his sophomore season. Smith was teammates with fellow Predators prospect Grant Mismash (2017 second-round pick) during his final three seasons at North Dakota.