This past season he made one of the biggest jumps in terms of all-around growth as player at both ends of the ice. Now, according to multiple published reports, Badgers junior defenseman Brendan Smith wil make another big jump, to the NHL's Detroit Red Wings. Thursday night Smith, a red Wings draft choice, confirmed that he will forgo his senior season to play pro hockey.
Smith is the 2nd Badger blueliner to go pro Thursday. Earlier junior Cody Goloubef signed a 3-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Smith was one of 10 Hobey Baker Award finalists after posting 15 goals, 37 assists, 52 points and a plus-14 rating in 42 games last season.