Cole Smith signs one-year deal with Nashville Predators
The former UND alternate captain recently scored his first two NHL goals.
GRAND FORKS — Cole Smith has become a full-time NHLer with the Nashville Predators this season.
The former UND winger has scored goals in two of his last three games.
Now, he has a new contract as well.
Smith signed a one-year deal with Nashville on Monday worth $775,000 for the 2023-04 season. The contract is a one-way deal, meaning he'll make his full salary whether he's in the NHL or American Hockey League.
This is the first one-way contract of Smith's professional career.
In his first two pro seasons, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound winger from Brainerd, Minn., bounced between leagues.
As a rookie in 2021-22, he played one NHL game with the Predators, 23 in the AHL and five in the ECHL.
Last season, Smith played eight games with Nashville and 59 with its top minor-league affiliate, AHL Milwaukee, where he scored 21 goals and 41 points.
This season, he has been a full-timer with the Predators.
Smith has played in 42 games, tallying two goals and 11 points.
UND recruited Smith out of Steinbach in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. He came to campus in 2016-17, making an immediate impact as one of the best defensive forwards in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
After his 11-goal, 18-point senior season, which was shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Predators signed Smith as an undrafted free agent. He has been with Nashville's franchise for his entire pro career.