Devante Smith-Pelly only scored two goals and 10 assists in 19 games for the Anaheim Ducks last season.
But the rugged 22-year-old right wing with the hyphenated last name made a name for himself in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, showing the power and promise of things to come. On a team loaded with scorers like Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne, Smith-Pelly topped the Ducks with five playoff goals in 12 games.
Anaheim rewarded him Tuesday with a two-year contract with undisclosed terms. ESPN.com reported that the deal is worth $800,000 per season.
“I’m pretty relieved to get it done,” Smith-Pelly said on the Ducks’ website. “This is my first process going through something like this, so I wasn’t sure how long it would take. There’s a long process to it. I wasn’t sure if it was going to come this close to camp, but at the same time, I knew something would get done before.”
Taken in the second round with the 42nd overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Smith-Pelly proclaimed himself happy with last season’s playoff scoring run but added that he wasn’t completely satisfied because the Ducks “would have liked to go forward and win the thing.”
“On a personal level, it was good for me and good for my confidence,” he said. “I learned a lot and had a lot of fun the whole time.”
With the contract negotiations behind him. Smith-Pelly said he can concentrate on having a good training camp and work towards becoming a regular top-six forward on the team.
Ducks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau “shuffles the lines and, with the way I play, I can be successful on any type of line,” Smith-Pelly said.
“I’m just trying to get better,” he added. “If it ends up being in a top-six position, hopefully I can contribute offensively and keep my physical game. If it’s bottom-six, hopefully it’s the same. I’m the type of player that can play in any kind of role, and I’ll accept any role I’m given.”