Smolenak is a natural scorer. The Lightning loves the fact he isnâ€™t afraid of high traffic areas and looks to shoot first. He has good speed and is decent away from the puck to get into passing lanes and seems to enjoy banging in the corners. Though not a speedster, Smolenakâ€™s skating is not holding him back by any means.
Consistency is always the key for young players and Smolenak is no different. Prior to being drafted, scouts claimed he took games off, but that seems to have improved in his second year in the OHL. Smolenak must learn to compete not only game-in and game-out, but shift-to-shift if he is to see the ice in Tampa for the Lightning. He must also continue to develop the defensive side of his game. He could also use his size more to his advantage.
The Lightning were quick to mention Smolenak when looking at the teamâ€™s future offense but expectations have been tempered by a poor rookie season of pro. Smolenak still has scoring line NHL upside as a 20-30 goal scoring winger, but he has a long way to go to get there.