Frozen Pool Forensics: Reilly Smith

by Cam Robinson on April 22, 2016

This week's edition of Frozen Pool Forensics focuses on Florida Panther Reilly Smith.


When you think about this current rendition of the Florida Panthers, the first couple of things that come to mind are probably the age-less wonder Jaromir Jagr, up-and-coming star centre Sasha Barkov, maybe future Hall of Famer Roberto Luongo…but how about that Panthers second line?

Even with their straw-stirring centre Vincent Trocheck out with an ankle injury, the second wave of scorers has kept on producing. Not the least of which is coming from 25-year-old Reilly Smith.

While we’re just scratching the surface of the 2016 NHL playoffs, Smith finds himself at the top of the scoring heap. Four games in, Smith has four goals and eight points, while his Florida Panthers find themselves in a 2-2 dog-fight in their series against the New York Islanders.

Top 10 Point Categories – 2016 Playoffs

Rank Name Pos Age Yrs Team GR GP EV PP SH PPG Total
1 Kucherov, Nikita R 22 1 T.B.   4 4 4 0 2.00 8
2 Smith, Reilly R 25 3 FLA   4 7 1 0 2.00 8
3 Johnson, Tyler C 25 2 T.B.   4 5 2 0 1.75 7
4 Tavares, John C 25 5 NYI   4 3 4 0 1.75 7
5 Carlson, John D 26 5 WSH   4 1 5 0 1.50 6
6 Benn, Jamie L 26 5 DAL   4 5 1 0 1.50 6
7 Backstrom, Nick C 28 7 WSH   4 2 4 0 1.50 6
8 Okposo, Kyle R 28 7 NYI   4 3 2 0 1.25 5
9 Tarasenko, Vlad R 24 2 STL   4 2 3 0 1.25 5
10 Burns, Brent D 31 10 S.J.   4 2 3 0 1.25 5


So far in his short career, Smith has been relied upon to provide secondary scoring, and solid two-way play, but the question for fantasy owners is: can the Ontario native maintain anything near this type of production?

The answer is two-fold: can he maintain this type of production over a long haul? Nope. Can he stay hot and power the Panthers through a round or two? You bet.

Smith has a history of showing up when games matter the most. He has 150 points in 285 regulars season contests– good for a 0.53 point-per-game average. Come playoff time, he’s recorded eight goals and 13 points in just 15 games (0.87 point-per-game average). Sure the sample size is far smaller, but it’s a nice bonus come spring time.

While the current production is great, Smith has converted on a ridiculous 23.5 percent of his 17 shots and has factored in on 67 percent of his team’s goals this series. That type of production rate is sure to dry up, but Gerard Gallant is putting him in some prime opportunities to keep it rolling.

Let’s take a look at Smith’s most common line mates at both even-strength and on the power play using Dobber’s Line Combination Tool:

                 Even Strength Line Combinations – 2016 Playoffs
















                 Power Play Line Combinations – 2016 Playoffs

















While he remains entrenched on the team’s second line and second power play unit, he has seen a nice jump in his average ice time – up to 21:17 compared to the 18:37 he saw during the regular season. Additionally, he saw 3:57 worth of power play time in game four, and while he didn’t record a point, his unit was dangerous all night.

Smith has had a winding journey in his short career. Instead of suiting up for the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads, the Dallas third round pick decided to go the NCAA route, and play for Miami University in Ohio. He’s been traded twice – once in the Tyler Seguin blockbuster, and more recently in a straight swap for Jimmy Hayes, and he now finds himself atop the leaderboard for playoff scoring.

These are the type of stories that happen during this magical time of year when the sun is out (for us west coasters anyways), the beer seems extra frosty, and the hockey is faster and more punishing than ever. For Reilly Smith and the Florida Panthers, they hope this story keeps writing itself deep into June.


Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on twitter @CrazyJoeDavola3 where I mostly retweet other people’s witty comments and occasionally add my own.

More Frozen Pool Forensics:

A Look Back

The Norris Debate