In any industry, it’s a risk to turn down an opportunity at a higher level, but for Sherwood Park Crusader forward Danny Smith, the risk seems to have paid off.
As a 20 year old, Smith is facing his final year of eligibility with the Cru. Many would think, then, that his having been offered a scholarship to the NCAA Division 1 University of Alaska-Anchorage in July would have been a welcomed one.
Instead, Smith opted to turn down the scholarship, with Crusader head coach and general manager Tim Fragle saying it wasn’t the best circumstance.
Since then, things have looked up for the Cru’s assistant captain, who has now committed to playing for the Division 1 Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Tigers in New York.
“It’s exciting. RIT is a really good school with a really good hockey program,” Fragle said. “They’re one of the most sought-after places to play in the NCAA. They have such a good following. Danny had a chance to fly down there in October and really liked it. It was pretty exciting for him to get that opportunity to play there starting next year.”
It seems, however, that before he takes off to New York, Smith has some work to pick up on at home.
“He started the season off pretty good. He went through a bit of a drought, and then again, he played well for about four or five games here,” Fragle said. “Then the last five games, he’s been held off the score sheet. Offensively, he should be a point-a-game guy for us, and he’s not quite on that page right now, but hopefully we can get him going here.”
Smith has since broken that scoreless streak, having picked up a goal in last Wednesday’s game against the Lloydminster Bobcats, when the Cru fell 2-1.