It would be quite a story.
The first native Texan drafted by the Dallas Stars goes on to be a star for the NHL team in his hometown.
With the offensive talent that Austin Smith possesses, that story may eventually be written.
For now though, the 24-year-old rookie is beginning his professional career with the Idaho Steelheads.
Its been great, Smith said. Its definitely been a transition from college, but its been nice playing every couple of days and getting a lot of games in.
If his pro career is anything like his college career, Smith will definitely be a player to watch.
Smith led the nation in goals scored (36) during his senior year at Colgate last season. He was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which is given annually to the top player in college hockey.
Coach Brad Ralph said Smith has done a good job of going from being THE guy in college to a pro team that has several offensive threats.
Its not that he cant be the big man on campus here, too, but its about fitting into the team and buying into whats required and kind of doing all the little things his team needs him to do, Ralph said. And then you can still do your thing.
And Smiths thing is scoring goals. He came into Saturdays game against Las Vegas with six goals and two assists in eight games. He added an assist in the third period, but the Wranglers won the contest 3-2 at CenturyLink Arena.
When the pucks on his stick, hes a threat to score, Ralph said.
Smith scored the game-winner in Wednesdays 2-1 win over Alaska, and followed that with a two-goal game in Fridays 6-3 victory over Las Vegas.
All three of the goals were assisted by his linemate, Adrian Foster.
I like playing with (Foster), Smith said. Hes smart and moves the puck well. Hes a guy that can make plays, and its nice playing with someone who can set you up.
Smith recently earned a call-up to the Texas Stars, Idahos AHL affiliate. But he quickly learned that the team was loaded with forwards.
I saw I wasnt going to be playing very much there, he said. So I wanted to come back here, where I can get a lot of ice time. So this is where I want to be, I want to be where Im going to play.
If Ralph has his way, playing means improving. Smiths offensive upside is without question, but he wants people to feel the same way about his defensive play.
I think when I get my shot up (in the AHL), thats going to be a huge aspect, Smith said. Theyre going to want me to be able to take care of my own end. I dont want them to say, We cant give him a shot because he cant play defensively.
Ralph said its just a matter of time before Smith gets a real shot at the next level.
Selfishly, I hope he stays here, Ralph said. But Im sure hes going to get another opportunity.
GAME NOTES: The Wranglers built a 2-0 lead a little more than 5 minutes into the third period with an Adam Hughesman goal. Vegas goalie Mitch OKeefe (1-3-0) kept the Steelheads off the scoreboard until 9 minutes remained in the game and Kael Mouillierat scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season. Less than 4 minutes later, Idaho (11-5-2) tied it on a Jacob Cepis goal. Judd Blackwater silenced the crowd by scoring the game-winner with 3:16 remaining. Tyler Beskorowany (4-5-1) took the loss for Idaho, which outshot Las Vegas 35-24.
Chris Langrill: 377-6424