Craig Smith
Craig Smith
30-Year-Old Right WingRW
Nashville Predators
2019 Fantasy Outlook
As far as bottom-six forwards in fantasy go, Smith is as reliable as they come. In five of the last six seasons, he has scored at least 20 goals. His assist numbers have varied, but he's also a plus player in the plus-minus department and usually fires more than 200 shots on goal while playing under 16 minutes per game. His last two campaigns have been very similar -- 25 goals, 51 points, 229 shots on net and a 10.9 shooting percentage in 2017-18; 21 goals, 38 points, 205 shots on net and a 10.2 shooting percentage in 2018-19. Assuming he's able to post a shooting percentage above 10.0 for a third straight season, owners can expect another 20-plus goal, 35-plus point output from Smith in 2019-20, making him a desirable depth option in most fantasy formats. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $21.25 million contract extension with the Predators in July 2015.
Nabs helper in loss
RWNashville Predators
March 2, 2020
Smith recorded an assist and three shots on net in Monday's 8-3 loss to the Oilers.
ANALYSIS
Smith had a mid-February scoring binge with six goals over five games, but he then went six straight games without a point before Monday. The 30-year-old Wisconsin native now has 29 points, 167 shots and a plus-18 rating through 65 appearances this year.
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NHL Stats
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2019
2018
2017
2016
2019 NHL Game Log
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2018 NHL Game Log
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2017 NHL Game Log
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2016 NHL Game Log
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2019–20 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    13:25
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    2:18
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:01
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2017–18
15:23
2:21
0:00
2018–19
15:08
2:31
0:01
2019–20
13:25
2:18
0:01
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
Coming into the 2016-17 season, Smith's future in Nashville looked uncertain. Once considered to be one of the Predators' top offensive weapons – he finished third in team scoring in 2013-14 with 52 points – Smith's production was on a sharp downswing. He finished the 2016-17 season with just 29 points – his third straight year of declining production. Not even the Golden Knights wanted him, as the Preds left him unprotected in the expansion draft, and he went untouched. However, a sharp turnaround would soon materialize, as the Preds traded for center Kyle Turris in November, and put him on a line with Smith and Kevin Fiala. The “SmurF” line went on to record a combined 129 points over the remainder of the regular season, making them one of the most productive second units in the NHL. For the season as a whole, Smith finished with 51 points in 79 games, just one point shy of his aforementioned career high. Assuming the Preds keep their second line together, look for more of the same from Smith this season as his career turnaround continues.
A 52-point scorer for the Preds in 2013-14, Smith has seen his output decline for three straight seasons, including failing to crack the 30-point plateau in 2016-17 (12 goals, 17 assists). He also saw his average ice time decline to a career-low 13:49 per game, lost his spot on the power play, and skated frequently on the Preds’ third line. Unfortunately, with three seasons left on his five-year, $21 million contract, teams haven't been lining up to take Smith off the Predators’ hands, so they have little choice but to let him play and hope that he eventually rediscovers his scoring touch. However, with the club having reacquired veteran winger Scott Hartnell in the offseason, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Smith open the season in a bottom-six capacity once again. At best, he’s worth a late-round flier in deeper fantasy formats.
The Preds have to be concerned about Smith, who saw his offensive output decline for the second consecutive season last year (37 points in 82 games). The trouble is, the team signed him to a five-year, $21.25 million contract extension last July, hoping he would show signs of the player who scored a career-high 52 points two seasons ago. Oddly enough, his goal-scoring has remained relatively consistent – he notched 24, 23, and most recently 21 tallies in the past three seasons – but his assist total dropped to a brutal 16 last year (just over half his tally from two years ago). That could be the result of being flipped between the second and third lines for a good portion of the season, as Smith ended up with his lowest average ice time since 2012-13. With four years remaining on his contract, the Preds have little choice but to keep rolling Smith as their everyday No. 2 right winger in the hopes that he’s finally able to put it all together. There’s hope yet, as this is only his age-27 season, but his offensive upside is limited to about 50 points and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him get usurped by one of the team’s up-and-coming young forwards.
After breaking out for 24 goals and 52 points in 2013-14, Smith put together another successful campaign last season, notching 23 goals and 44 points in 82 games. The 25-year-old was a force with the man advantage, lighting the lamp six times and adding three assists. Not only is he turning into a reliable and consistent 20-goal scorer, but Smith also showed that he could help fantasy owners in other categories by gathering 44 PIM, putting 252 shots on goal, and finishing with a plus-11 mark last season. With the scoring fairly spread out in Nashville, Smith probably doesn't have the ability to take another notable leap, but he should offer the sort of stable, predictable offensive production that most fantasy rosters could certainly use.
Smith finished the 2013-14 season on a relative tear, notching 11 points in his last 10 games, allowing him to finish third on the team in scoring with a career-high 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists). The impressive finish also allowed him to set career-bests across just about every other offensive category, including shots on goal (215), shooting percentage (11.2%) and plus-minus (plus-16). He’s positioned to fill a feature role with the Predators in 2014-15, perhaps even as a member of the top line. Furthermore, given that the Preds are now deeper up front, Smith will also enjoy a significantly-improved supporting cast, which should also enhance his continued development as a bona fide top-six NHL forward. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on Smith in the middle rounds of your draft -- the upside is there to make him a possible breakout player this season.
Smith fell into the dreaded sophomore slump last year after registering 36 points in 72 games during as a rookie in 2011-12. Last year, he tallied just 12 points in 44 games and even spent some time at AHL Milwaukee to get his game together following a lengthy slump. At 23 years of age, Smith still has a distance to go before he enters his peak scoring years, so the Preds are understandably being patient with him. Looking ahead, he should open this season as the team's second-line right winger. But on an offensively-challenged squad, Smith's totals will likely be low.
Smith started his rookie season with a bang back in October, scoring 14 points in his first 15 games. However, it took him another 32 games to score his next 14 points, and he finished the season with just 36 in 72 games, seeing the majority of his ice time in a checking-line role. It was very likely a case of rookie fatigue setting in for the highly-skilled youngster last season, a situation he should be able to avoid this year. He continues to have tremendous upside – draft accordingly.
More Fantasy News
Remains locked-in offensively
RWNashville Predators
February 16, 2020
Smith scored a goal on a pair of shots in a 2-1 win over St. Louis on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Records first hat trick of career
RWNashville Predators
February 13, 2020
Smith scored three goals during Thursday's 5-0 win over the Islanders.
ANALYSIS
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Scores with man advantage
RWNashville Predators
February 10, 2020
Smith potted a power-play goal on two shots in Monday's 6-2 loss to the Canucks.
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Trending toward modest point totals
RWNashville Predators
February 9, 2020
Smith opened the scoring with his 12th goal of the season Saturday in an eventual 3-2 loss to the Oilers.
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Tallies on power play
RWNashville Predators
January 18, 2020
Smith scored a power-play goal in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Sabres.
ANALYSIS
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