Jacks' first pick Smith eager to wear the crest, begin his journey
April 19, 2011
Defenseman Alex Smith, whom the Jacks selected with their first pick in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft, can't wait to wear the Jacks' crest as soon as this fall.
By Christopher Heimerman
Muskegon, Mich. – Alex Smith can’t wait to arrive in Muskegon and begin his journey to the National Hockey League.
“This is only the start of a long journey,” said Smith, the Jacks’ first-round pick and the fifth overall selection in the 2011 USHL Futures Draft. “I’ve gotta keep working hard, go to the main camp (at the L.C. Walker Arena from June 16-18), make the team and contribute right away in September. It’s my dream to start in Muskegon, play college hockey and then go play in the NHL.”
Smith is a strong-skating defenseman who will contribute along every inch of the ice. He posted 12 points on four goals and eight assists this past season with Honeybaked’s Under-18 AAA Midget Major squad.
“Alex is a great two-way defenseman who makes a good outlet pass,” Jacks Head Coach and General Manager Kevin Patrick said, “and he’s got great character. He’s coming from a great program in Honeybaked. They do an excellent job of developing players and having them ready for the next level.”
The Jacks selected another Honeybaked product, Alex Talcott, with the 16th pick of the draft - the first of the second round. Talcott's mother, Sherri, is a Muskegon native.
"She completely freaked out," Talcott said. "This is where we wanted to go."
Smith was with his parents, Terry and Jane, at their home in Brownstown, Mich., when the pick was announced. He immediately embraced the both of them, who were ecstatic their son was selected by the Jacks organization.
The Jacks' third selection, the 45th overall in the draft, was Cole Cassels, out of the Ohio Blue Jackets program. With the following pick, they picked Corey Schueneman out of the Little Caesers program. With the 75th overall pick of the draft, they chose Riley Alferd, a product of the L.A. Selects hockey program. Their final selection, the 76th pick out of 90 overall, was Matej Paulovic, a Slovakian forward.
Smith, a 5-foot-11, 173-pound blueliner can’t wait to play in the United States Hockey League, the premier juniors circuit in the United States. He’s determined to wear the Jacks’ crest as soon as this fall for Patrick and Jacks Owner Josh Mervis.
“I can’t wait to play for both of them,” Smith said. “Mr. Mervis is a really great guy who is all about family and hockey. When I went to Muskegon, I saw how much he puts into the team. My coaches always told me ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’ I see how much Mr. Mervis gives to the team. I can’t wait to return the favor to him and the organization.”
Smith plans to attend Game 3 of the Jacks’ best-of-five series against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders this Saturday at the L.C. Walker Arena.
“I’m excited to come to Muskegon and I couldn’t be happier they selected me with their first pick,” he said. “I get to stay in the great state of Michigan and play in a great town like Muskegon. The dream is already coming true.”