Montreal Canadiens Prospect Ty Smilanic Transfers to Wisconsin

PLYMOUTH, MI - DECEMBER 12: Ty Smilanic. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
PLYMOUTH, MI - DECEMBER 12: Ty Smilanic. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

The Montreal Canadiens made a few interesting trades leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline in March. Tyler Toffoli, Ben Chiarot, Artturi Lehkonen and Brett Kulak were among the veterans heading out.

Of course, we are most interested about the players that arrived in the Canadiens system in the deals. We have already seen Justin Barron, and Tyler Pitlick, but we don’t know a lot about prospects Emil Heineman or Ty Smilanic.

One thing we do is where Smilanic will be playing hockey next season. The 20 year old played the past two seasons of college hockey with Quinnipiac. They were a deep, national contender each season, but Smilanic carved out a middle six winger role where he scored 27 goals and 44 points in 70 games over those two seasons.

He entered the NCAA transfer portal in April, essentially declaring he will be heading elsewhere to play the 2022-23 season while continuing his NCAA career. He has finally chosen a destination.

According to Jeff Marek of Sportsnet, the Canadiens prospect will play next season with Wisconsin.

The 6’1″ and 174 pound winger has a unique package that includes decent size, a great shot a strong two-way game and a willingness to battle on every shift. He was never really given a huge opportunity on a deep and veteran-laden Quinnipiac team, but he still scored a goal every third game in his college career.

If it is opportunity he wanted, he will surely find it in Wisconsin. They were one of the weakest offensive teams in the country last season, scoring just 76 goals in 37 games which is barely two goals per game. They need offence, and Smilanic will be asked to bring it next season.

Head Coach Tony Granato did well developing Cole Caufield for two years when the Canadiens super prospect played for Wisconsin. His teams are always known for their work ethic and compete level so Smilanic will be held to account on the smaller details of the game.

It’s the bigger details like scoring goals that might be difficult on such a weak roster. Wisconsin does have first round pick Corson Ceulemans who will be the power play quarterback that will set Smilanic up for one-timers all season. After that, there’s second round pick Sam Stange who scored 11 points last season?

Mathieu De St. Phalle could be the team’s (and Smilanic’s) first line centre. He scored 22 points in 36 games to lead Wisconsin last season. It will be interesting to see what kind of a team they can put together next season.

Smilanic was acquired from the Florida Panthers as part of the Ben Chiarot trade. He was a third round pick of the Panthers in 2020. There is no question that Smilanic will play a huge role on the Wisconsin Badgers, he just might not have a lot of help.

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