Colorado Avalanche: Ben Smith Could Make the Roster

Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Colorado Avalanche forward Ben Smith is making a name for himself this preseason, and if he continues to impress then he could be looking at a depth role for the team this coming season.

The Colorado Avalanche played their second preseason game last night. Forward Ben Smith helped the Avs collect their second victory of the preseason by getting the game-winning goal.

Smith has two goals in two games during the preseason thus far. And, he is one of only four individuals that has played in both games to this point.

Furthermore, he’s also playing penalty kill and powerplay minutes, thus adding to his versatility and usage as a depth player.

To be honest, he kind of reminds me of John Mitchell — a Leatherman type player that can pull out whatever tools necessary to get the job done.

But, has he done enough so far — or will he continue to do enough — to make the roster?

Coach Jared Bednar on Ben Smith

When asked if Smith was making things tough on Bednar, he responded by saying “in what way?” Obviously Bednar knew what the reporter was referring to, but that’s a classic interview tactic: “could you please clarify the question.”

In other words, Bednar was avoiding the question because it is going to be a difficult decision to make, and that decision will be private. However, he still had this to say about Smith’s performance against the Stars.

"I thought he had a great game tonight. I just like the way he works. You know, he works every shift. He pays attention to the details, and his compete level is strong. When you compete like that, good things will happen for you. So, I think that’s why he had such a good game, and why I like him so much."

If you want to watch the rest of that video, then check it out here:

Anyway, Bednar’s approval of Smith obviously bodes well for Smith as he attempts to make the roster. That’s especially true when considering the fact that Bednar is paying specific detail to how Smith approaches his playing style.

But, how does Smith feel about his game?

Ben Smith Discusses What it Takes to Play in the NHL

Yeah, it takes selflessness. When asked whether or not he felt good about what he’s been doing out there so far, Smith responded by saying:

"I think as a team the first 40 minutes we weren’t doing what we wanted to do, so to come out there in third [period] and to find a way to respond and get a win, it felt good… I’m just trying to earn whatever ice I can get."

If you want to watch the rest of that interview, then check it out here:

Smith seems like an extremely humble individual which is somewhat of a necessity with a depth player likely to find a home on the fourth line.

He referenced the play of the team when asked about his own performance. And, once again talked about the entire team’s need to be aggressive in the third period, not just a handful of individuals.

In other words, the lack of an ego, humility and an emphasis on team play are necessary facets to playing in the NHL successfully. That is especially true as a depth player.


There have been some questions about the depth of the Colorado Avalanche in recent years, and those questions mostly pertained to the construction of the fourth line. However, the Avs have at least eight players fighting for spots on the fourth line during training camp and preseason.

Who are those eight players? To my estimation they are: A.J. Greer, J.T. Compher, Gabriel Bourque, Rene Bourque, Ben Smith, Andreas Martinsen, Cody McCleod, and John Mitchell.

Next: Colorado Avalanche Goalie Prospect with an Amazing Save

That list was no accidental order either as it’s respective toward periphery players and players likely to make that fourth line spot. In other words, the first players mentioned are on the outside looking in, while the players near the end of the list have the best chance to find a fourth line role.

Therefore, Ben Smith is kind of just peaking in, taking a glance at what it will take to be their when all is said and done. He’ll need to displace one of those three players at the end of the list, and that won’t be an easy thing to do.

However, with the way he’s been playing so far, he definitely has a chance to make the opening night roster as the extra forward at the very least.

That’s all for today folks. Thanks for stopping by.