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Who is Gemel Smith? Get to know the newest Boston Bruin

A quick look at who he is and what he brings to the team.

Dallas Stars v New York Islanders

The Bruins made a roster move this afternoon, claiming forward Gemel Smith on waivers after he was cut loose by the Dallas Stars.

Who is Gemel Smith?

Smith is 24 years old. He was drafted by Dallas in the fourth round in 2012, 104th overall. He played his junior hockey in Owen Sound and London, where he put up pretty solid offensive numbers.

He made his NHL debut with the Stars in the 2016-2017 season, where he put up three goals and three assists in 17 games.

He’s never played more than 46 NHL games in a season, with that number coming in 2017-2018; this season, he had played 14 games prior to being waived.

His brother, Givani Smith, plays for the Detroit Red Wings.

What kind of player is he?

By some accounts, he’s a guy who has potential but has yet to show it consistently.

From David Castillo of our friends at Defending Big D:

Over the past two seasons, Smith is behind only Benn, Seguin, and Radulov in even strength scoring at a 1.58 clip. That would make him 12 on Boston through the same time frame, which is a) an indictment of Dallas’ secondary scoring problem over the last two seasons and b) not a bad pickup for zero down payment.

He’s not a playmaker, or cycling beast, but he’s got serious wheels in open ice, and has very good hands in proximity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him score a garbage goal: it’s all, clean, repeatable pick the top shelf forehand or backhand stuff. Granted, this is all a small sample size for a late round pick who was never expected to even crack the NHL (he was actually sent down to the ECHL two years ago), but this seems like a good pickup.

From our own Shawn Ferris:

He’s an average player with an above average shot, probably. He hasn’t played much yet in the NHL. I read something that Smith is an “analytics sweetheart” and I don’t know where that came from. I’d refer to him as a dull player as not many shots occur while he’s on the ice. So he’s above average defensively and below average offensively, and if you consider him to be average as I do, they cancel each other out. He’s been buried, and probably for a reason, but that also means the quality of his teammates is really low too. The Bruins are banking on him improving if he is not buried in the lineup. If this is not the case, they will waive him.

Smith clearly made impression on his teammates, as they stopped practice to say their goodbyes earlier today.

Smith had a bit of a cult following in Dallas as well, and it’s usually a good sign when the fans of the guy’s former team are mad to see him go:

He’s also a guy who is willing to drop the gloves, which would endear him to a large segment of the Bruins fanbase.

Some Gemel Smith highlights

Where does he fit on the Bruins?

In all likelihood, Smith is a bottom-six guy if he sticks on the Bruins roster. He can fill in on the third or fourth lines and bring some energy and some talent.

However, given what the Bruins top-six has looked like at times this season, there’s a chance he gets a shot up there if one of the kids falters.

If he’s a guy who has lacked a fair shot at regular ice time in a quality role, he just may end up getting it.