Just over four years ago, Alex Smith came oh so close to bringing a league title to Flin Flon. After a successful college career, Smith is taking his talents to the Gulf of Mexico, signing his first pro contract with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades.
The Everblades announced Smith’s signing in a press release sent out Nov. 18.
Smith, 25, enters the pros after four seasons playing for the Michigan Tech Huskies and a notable stint with the Bombers.
Originally from Edmonton, Smith came to the Bombers in 2014 and played two seasons in maroon and white, culminating in the team’s “Don’t Mess with the Moose Leg” SJHL finals run in 2016. In the 2015-16 season, Smith put together one of the best offensive campaigns Bomber faithful have seen in recent years, racking up 32 goals and 84 points in 58 games - all while racking up 154 minutes in the box.
Since 2000, only a handful of Bombers - Reid MacLeod, Cole Rafuse, Alec Malo, Todd Hornung, Nate Hooper and Pierre-Luc Boucher - have managed more points than Smith scored in that season.
To add to that, Smith added in arguably the greatest postseason performance of any Bomber forward in recent years, finishing a 16-game playoff run with 21 points. No other Bomber has scored more points than Smith managed to pot that year.
After joining Michigan Tech - formerly coached by Mel Pearson, a Flin Flonner by birth and the son of Bomber pioneer Mel Pearson Sr. - Smith picked up where he left off, averaging more than half a point a game and becoming one of the NCAA’s top faceoff centres in a four-year college stretch. Smith even wore the captain’s “C” for the Huskies last season.
Smith and the Everblades will open their season Dec. 11 at Hertz Arena in Estero, Fla. against the regional rival Jacksonville Icemen.
The ECHL plans to play an abbreviated season, stretching from Dec. 11 to Jan. 13. The Everblades will play 11 games, all against regional opponents - Jacksonville, the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and the Orlando Solar Bears. All games will be viewable online on the ECHL website.
Smith currently appears to be the only Bomber player who will suit up in the ECHL this year. Joel Kocur, himself part of the “Don’t Mess with the Moose Leg” crew and Smith’s former linemate, signed a contract with the league’s Worcester Railers in August. Earlier this month, the Railers, along with five other ECHL clubs, announced they would suspend play for the season due to COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, 22,670 people in the Railers' home county have tested positive for COVID-19 - 1,237 of those people later died.