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Will Smith Pays Tribute to His Grandfather, Models His Game After Jack Hughes



NASHVILLE — Meet Will Smith.

After the San Jose Sharks selected Smith fourth-overall, the 6-foot-0 USNTDP center had his media availability.

The San Jose Sharks star in the making spoke on his tribute to his deceased grandfather Bill, when he’s at his best on the ice, and his familial connection with GM Mike Grier.

Will Smith on his immediate reaction to being drafted:

It’s unbelievable. Trying to kind of soak it in right now and just can’t wait to see my family and kind of celebrate with them.

Smith, on if his connection to the Grier family, like going to high school with Grier’s son Jayden, made this pick feel a bit like fate:

I mean, a little bit. People kind of started to catch on, as the Draft year went on, connection I had. So it’s a little bit of a Boston reunion here. It’s nice.

Smith, on what skills he hopes to showcase with the San Jose Sharks:

My playmaking, that’s what kind of makes my game is my vision and my hockey sense. When that’s rolling, that’s when I’m at my best.

Smith on being drafted by Boston University alumni, as a Boston College commit, and if the Terriers like Mike Grier and David Quinn tried to recruit him over:

They mentioned it on stage. (laughs) But, I think they know Coach Brown so it’s all fun.

Smith on his grandfather Bill, who passed away about three years ago:

I had one of his last business cards in my jacket. So I mean, he can’t be here. But I know he’s watching.

He’d just be so proud. He loved hockey, loved to come watch me. Special man.

Smith, on Grier complimenting his “competitive fire”in his pre-Draft availability:

100 percent. I hate to lose. I don’t really care if it’s practice, or especially the game, I don’t really forget things. I love to compete and I just love to win.

Smith, on what was on the lining of his jacket:

I had my St. Sebastian’s logo, which obviously, Mr. Grier knows. US logo, Celtic cross for my grandfather. A Lexington logo, where I grew up, and also Boston College.

Smith was told by reporters that USNTDP linemate Ryan Leonard had just been selected No. 8 by the Washington Capitals: 

I didn’t know that. I want to see him get picked live.

He’s one of my best friends. I lived with him for two years, known him for so long. So that’s unbelievable. I just can’t wait to see him.

Smith, on his favorite player growing up as a Boston Bruins fan:

My favorite player on the Bruins was [Patrice] Bergeron, I grew up watching him and all those guys. He’s a center and I’m a center, so I try to take tips from him and watch him.

Smith, on who he models his game after:

I try to model my game after Jack Hughes. I really like his play, ever since he was at the US program, I loved watching him.

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