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Tampa Bay Lightning sign forward Gemel Smith to one-year, two-way contract

A good looking winger for the Syracuse Crunch.

Dallas Stars v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Gemel Smith to a one-year, two-way contract. The contract will pay him $700,000 if he is in the NHL and $250,000 in the minors with a guaranteed salary of at least $325,000. Smith spent last season with the Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins playing 17 NHL games between the two franchises. He spent most of the season in the AHL with the Providence Bruins.

Smith is coming off his first one-way contract as he signed a one-year deal worth $720,000 with the Dallas Stars last August as a restricted free agent. Prior to that, he was on a two-way contract for a season with a $90,000 minimum guaranteed salary and an entry level contract. Because he is only 25 years old and will only be 26 next summer, this contract will expire with him being a restricted free agent.

At 5’11” and 194 pounds, Smith should fit in nicely in the top nine for the Syracuse Crunch on the left wing. He’ll also provide some experienced depth in the event the Lightning are in need of a fourth liner at some point due to injuries, though it would seem more likely that younger prospects will be ahead of him in the pecking order for a call up.

Smith was originally drafted in the fourth round 104th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Dallas Stars. When he was drafted, Smith was coming off of his second year in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack scoring 21 goals and 60 points in 68 games. He also put up two goals and five points in seven games for Team Canada at the U18 WJC. He followed with two more seasons with Owen Sound scoring 23 goals and 52 point in 61 games in 2012-13.

He played 40 games with 26 goals and 48 points with Owen Sound during 2013-14 before being traded to the London Knights. With the power house Knights, he recorded 11 goals and 27 points in 29 games. He added another 12 points in nine playoff games. Smith played in the Memorial Cup twice in 2010-11 and 2013-14. over seven games, he failed to record a point.

After finishing his junior career, Smith signed an entry level contract with the Dallas Stars and spent his first two seasons in the AHL with the Texas Stars, plus a four game stint in the ECHL with the Idaho Steelheads. Over his first two AHL seasons, he recorded 23 goals and 53 points in 133 games.

Smith got his first taste of NHL action early in the 2016-17 season. He played 12 games over a month span recording two goals and one assist before returning to the AHL. Back in the AHL, he recorded 12 goals and 33 points over 53 games. He returned to the Stars lineup at the end of the season and recorded a goal and two assists over five games.

Smith spent the entirety of the 2017-18 season with the Stars in the NHL recording six goals and 11 points in 46 games while averaging 9:26 TOI on the fourth line. Last season, he recorded two goals and three points in 14 games for the Stars before being placed on waivers. The Boston Bruins claimed him and played him in three games without a point. The Bruins waived him again less than two weeks after claiming him.

However, the Stars did not put a claim in for him and allowed the Bruins to keep Smith’s services. Smith went to the AHL and put up his best AHL season setting career highs in goals, assists, and points with 16 goals, 24 assists, and 40 points over 47 games with the Providence Bruins. The Bruins did not tender Smith a qualifying offer making him an unrestricted free agent.