A couple of weeks ago on the day after the "Skate of the Union" event, it was revealed that Craig Smith would be leaving the University of Wisconsin to turn pro. This morning, the Predators officially announced his signing an entry level contract.
After having a successful trip to the World Championship in the spring, his stock rose with the Preds and he was encouraged to make the move to the pro ranks this season.
Make the jump for the full release from the Predators...
Preds Sign Craig Smith To Entry Level Contract
-One of USA’s three best players at the 2011 World Championships turning pro-
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 25, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed 2009 fourth-round pick (98th overall) Craig Smith to a two-year entry level contract.
Smith, 21 (9/5/89), turns pro after spending the past two seasons at the University of Wisconsin, amassing 76 points (27g-49a) and 159 penalty minutes in 82 games. The Madison, Wis., native ranked ninth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in goals (19), tied for 11th in conference scoring (19g-24a-43pts) in 2010-11, in addition to tying for fourth in game-winning goals (5), and sixth in power-play points (8g-15a-23pts). As a freshman in 2009-10, Smith helped the Badgers advance to the 2010 NCAA National Championship Game (on a team that also included current Predator Blake Geoffrion) and was named to the WCHA All-Rookie team after finishing ninth in NCAA freshman scoring (8g-25a-33pts). He also joins defenseman Ryan Suter as UW Badgers in the Predators organization.
The 6-1, 197-pound center made his international tournament debut for the United States this past May as one of two underclassmen named to the country’s entry at the 2011 World Championships. Smith went on to be named one of Team USA’s three best players of the tournament after leading the team in goals (3) and ranking second in points (6) in seven tournament games.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass