2006-07: When Brian Boyle (LA) moved back to play defense this season, no Eagles player took more advantage of the situation than Ben Smith. As he earned his way up to the top line, his team reaped the benefits. The Avon, CT native led Boston College in rookie scoring with 18 points (ten goals, eight assists) playing in all 42 games this season. Of his ten goals, six came on the power play. Smith’s excellent season earned him Boston College’s Bernie Burke Award as the Most Outstanding Freshman.
2007-08: Smith made significant progress during his sophomore season at Boston College, as he went from being a fourth-line forward to a top-line center. Not only did he play alongside Hobey Baker Award finalist Nathan Gerbe, but his 25 goals and 50 points were second and third on the team, respectively. Smith was named to Hockey East’s All-Academic Team for the second year in a row and shared the James E. Tiernan Award with Pat Gannon as one of the team’s most improved players. Smith was chosen in the sixth round, 169th overall, of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.
2008-09: Smith’s production dropped during his junior season as Boston College struggled as a team. He scored just 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 37 games.
2009-10: In his senior season at BC, Smith helped lead the Eagles to a National Championship with 16 goals, 21 assists for 37 points in 42 games. He was named the Frozen Four MVP after scoring 3 goals and 1 assist in the final two victories of the season. He joined the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs at the end of the year, skating in 3 playoff games with 1 goal.
2010-11: Smith earned Rockford’s Rookie of the Year Award with 19 goals, 12 assists for 31 points in 63 games. He was called up to Chicago and played in six regular season games with 1 goal. It was in the playoffs for Chicago where Smith began to make a name for himself, registering 3 goals during the team’s 7-game series loss to Vancouver. He scored the overtime game-winner on Roberto Luongo in game six to help the Blackhawks extend the series to seven games.
2011-12: Despite his playoff heroics the previous spring, Smith shuffled between Chicago and Rockford in a season that was cut short by season-ending hip surgery in March. In 13 games with the Blackhawks he was minus-five and scored 2 goals. Smith was a consistent scorer for the IceHogs during his AHL time with Rockford, finishing with 15 goals and 16 assists in 38 games. He finished plus-two for Rockford with 10 penalty minutes. Smith was re-signed to a two-year contract by the Blackhawks in June 2012.
Smith is a versatile forward that can play well in any situation, at any forward position, and throughout the lineup. His hockey sense and work ethic may be his strongest attributes. He plays close attention to his defensive responsibilities and is rarely found out of position. Offensively, he has a nose for the net and is willing to crash the crease for a goal. Smith's tendency to outwork his opponents has endeared the winger to many fans while, off the ice, his personality and charity work have also earned him praise.
Smith was dealt for the second time in a year, this time to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Alex Stalock and a conditional pick in exchange for James Reimer and Jeremy Morin.