The Buffalo Sabres aren't waiting until the offseason to start making moves. On Wednesday the team signed UMass-Lowell's leading scorer, C.J. Smith, to an entry-level contract according to multiple reports. The deal was first reported by Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
According to Jeff Cox of SB Nation, Smith is expected in the Sabres lineup on Sunday against the New York Islanders.
Here is your 2017 MVP, CJ Smith pic.twitter.com/p2txGszfuF
— Hockey East (@hockey_east) March 19, 2017
Smith finished this season with 51 points [23G, 28A] in 41 games played. In his three years at UMass-Lowell the Des Moines, Iowa native averaged more than a point-per-game, scoring 56 goals and adding 69 assists [125 points] in 120 games.
Smith led the River Hawks in scoring this season and was named the most valuable player in the Hockey East tournament. In five tournament games, Smith scored four goals and added four assists.
CJ Smith: Very quick. Fast/elusive/pesky scorer. Loved him in HE tourney. Key piece on good Lowell team. Shores up org LW depth. #Sabres
— Kris Baker (@SabresProspects) March 29, 2017
The Sabres need young players that can put the puck in the net and that's exactly what Smith brings to the table.
If nothing else, Smith is another lottery ticket for General Manager Tim Murray. The good news -- the more lottery tickets you buy, the better your chance of eventually winning.
These signings are low-risk, high reward. It sounds like Smith had plenty of options, so once again it's a good get for the Sabres.
cj smith owns. nothing else to prove in college.
— ryan lambert (@twolinepass) March 29, 2017