Brendan Smith
Brendan Smith
31-Year-Old DefensemanD
New York Rangers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Smith will likely be buried in the AHL if the Rangers fail to buy him out or trade him. It's possible he sticks with the big club as a seventh defenseman, but Smith's best chance at actually holding down a third-pairing role would probably involve a change of scenery. While he has never cracked the 20-point mark, Smith could have fleeting value in deep leagues that count PIM should he earn consistent ice time -- he's cracked 60 PIM in each of the past six seasons. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year contract with the Rangers worth $17.4 million in June of 2017.
Shifts back to blue line
DNew York Rangers
February 17, 2020
Smith blocked a shot in 11:27 of ice time in Sunday's 3-1 loss to Boston, playing on the blue line for a third consecutive game.
ANALYSIS
Smith has been deployed primarily as a fourth-line forward this season, but injuries on the Rangers' blue line have forced him to shift back to his natural position on defense for the last three games. The veteran's versatility is probably his greatest asset, but Smith is a below-average option wherever he plays -- he has just six points in 53 games.
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2018 NHL Game Log
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2017 NHL Game Log
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2019–20 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    11:06
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    0:03
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    2:04
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2017–18
17:10
0:03
1:26
2018–19
15:18
0:03
1:36
2019–20
11:06
0:03
2:04
Rangers Depth Chart
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Rangers Power Play Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Brendan Smith
NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers
January 8, 2018
Jan Levine takes us through his Risers and Fallers again this week, kicking things off with surging B's veteran Patrice Bergeron, who's fresh off a four-goal game.
Frozen Fantasy: Good, Bad and Ugly
November 25, 2017
Janet Eagleson announces her early-season category winners, while offering up a few players who can give decent current value.
DraftKings NHL: Sunday Picks
April 16, 2017
Neil Parker turns to the Habs' Alex Galchenyuk to deliver the goods in Game 3 against the Rangers on Sunday.
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Postseason Preview
April 10, 2017
Jan Levine previews the Stanley Cup playoffs, picking each round, as Alex Ovechkin looks to put the Capitals on his back en route to a title.
Blue Line Buzz: Recapping the Deadline
March 6, 2017
Jason Chen recaps all the trade deadline deals involving defensemen, then dives into his studs and duds on the back end this week.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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To say Smith disappointed in the first year of a four-year, $17.4 million contract is putting it mildly. He posted just eight points in 44 games before being sent down to AHL Hartford, where he proceeded to add two points and a minus-11 rating in 11 games. Smith will have a chance to win back an NHL job in camp and New York would ideally like a man it owes $4.35 million for three more seasons to be contributing to the parent club, but there's a good chance he'll fail to beat out of any of the team's league-ready prospects or remaining veterans. Even if Smith earns playing time in 2018-19, owners won't exactly be tripping over each other to grab a player that's never reached the 20-point mark.
Once considered a potentially impactful two-way defenseman, Smith has never cleared 20 points in a season and managed just nine in 51 games last year. However, he gave the Rangers a jolt of energy and physicality after coming over in a midseason trade, which was enough for them to sign him to a four-year, $17.4 million contract. (You'd think they'd have learned their lesson about overpaying for non-elite defensemen after buying out Dan Girardi and his $5.5 million cap hit just two weeks prior to signing Smith, but apparently not.) Smith will thus assume a spot on New York’s blue line, most likely in the role of a stay-at-home complement to the puck-moving Brady Skjei on the second pairing.
Too often in the 2015-16 season, Smith watched game action from the press box as a healthy scratch. That’s not to say that he’s devoid of offense. Smith is a skilled passer, but he hasn’t amounted to much in the NHL after setting up 59 scores in 152 games with AHL Grand Rapids between 2010-13. Still, Detroit made a concerted effort to improve its defense in the offseason, including the hiring of Doug Houda, a former Wings player who will be tasked with revamping the blue line and penalty-killing unit. If Houda fails to get Smith up to the standard expected of him as a former first-round pick (2007) -- despite the defenseman entering a contract year -- then it should be considered a disappointment and could mark the end of Smith’s tenure in Detroit. On the contrary, if he sparks offensively early on in 2016-17, that could be a sign that he’s buying into the new system and might be worth plucking from the waiver wire in deeper fantasy leagues.
Smith settled into a little more steady role with the Red Wings in 2013-14, scoring 19 points in 71 games. The offensive-minded blueliner got burned less by risky moves, but still is developing. He should improve on the 19 points he registered last season in the upcoming campaign, but still is in the lower-to-middle tier of fantasy defensemen.
Smith had an up-and-down postseason with the Wings last season demonstrating both his offensive prowess and his occasional defensive liabilities. The young defenseman is still learning his craft in the big leagues and has a bright future if he can nail down some of his defensive lapses.
Even if Smith is initially outside of the top-four blueliners, he could emerge as an option for one of the top pairings and quickly earn a significant power-play role after delivering seven points in 14 games (1 G, 6 A) and a plus-3 rating in his first taste of Detroit last season. Asking him to immediately fill the offensive void created by the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom may be a bit much, but Smith could ascend to the front of the line quickly if the more senior players ahead of him on the depth chart prove unwilling -- or unable -- to quarterback the Wings' power play effectively. In multi-year formats, Smith should be upgraded as he's a virtual lock to secure the aforementioned roles at some point in the not-so-distant future.
Smith projects as an eventual top-four blueliner with power-play quarterback upside, but the Wings' addition of Ian White and Mike Commodore could give the team enough short-term depth to enable Smith to begin the year at Grand Rapids (AHL) again. Smith racked up 32 points (12 G, 20 A) with the Griffins in 63 games last season and may not be far away from a prominent role with the big club. Particularly in keeper formats, Smith is an excellent late-round target as he's ready to contribute at the NHL-level should the opportunity arise.
A finalist for the Hobey Baker award in his junior season at the University of Wisconsin, Smith led the nation in blue-line scoring with 52 points (15 G, 37 A) last season. He'll likely spend his first professional season in Grand Rapids (AHL), but Smith has the polish to make it up to Detroit quickly and there's top-four potential here depending on how his game develops at the defensive end. The Red Wings believe that Smith will need very little time in the minors before he's ready to contribute at the NHL level – there are some concerns about his maturity after some off-ice incidents in Madison – but don't be surprised if he debuts this season when injuries necessitate a call up or two. If you're searching for internal options to eventually take over as the role of power-play quarterback whenever Nicklas Lidstrom decides to hang up his skates, look no further.
Smith is developing into a top-end offensive blueliner entering his junior season at the University of Wisconsin. Prior to getting derailed by a wrist injury, Smith had 18 points in 21 games (7 G, 11 A) with all of his goals coming on the power play. Much like fellow farmhand Jakub Kindl, Smith projects as an eventual top-four defenseman at the NHL level. The only question is whether he'll leave the Badgers after this season or return for his senior year in 2010-11.
Smith will spend the 2008-09 playing his sophomore season for the University of Wisconsin.
Smith brings an air of intrigue to the 2007 NHL draft. He's a great skater and puck mover, and he brings a transport truck full of skill to the blue line. But he hasn't really be tested to date -- he's another young man who played Tier 2 hockey for the past few seasons and really needs to be pushed harder to develop. He'll head off to the University of Wisconsin for 2007-2008 and if he adapts well, Smith will be the steal of the 2007 draft class. He has the potential to be a number one, minute-munching, point-tallying stud; stash him and wait.
More Fantasy News
Struggling to crack 10 minutes
DNew York Rangers
January 5, 2020
Smith skated just 5:44 in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Canucks.
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Registers third goal
DNew York Rangers
December 6, 2019
Smith scored a goal on one shot and posted three hits in a 2-1 loss to the Canadiens on Friday.
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Tallies goal in win
DNew York Rangers
November 28, 2019
Smith scored a goal on his only shot and posted three hits against the Hurricanes on Wednesday.
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Still lacking discipline
DNew York Rangers
November 21, 2019
Smith dished out two hits and took a two-minute penalty in Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Capitals.
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Well-rounded stat line
DNew York Rangers
October 28, 2019
Smith generated an assist, two shots on net, two blocked shots and a plus-1 rating in Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Bruins.
ANALYSIS
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