Getting to Know… Devante Smith-Pelly

Posted April 21, 2019

One of DC’s favorite sons returned to the Capitals’ lineup for Game 5 of their Round 1 Playoff match up with the Carolina Hurricanes last night. Devante Smith-Pelly’s return to Washington was met with optimism after the energetic forward spent a 20 game stint in Hershey with the Bears after clearing waivers in February. With T.J. Oshie going breaking his collar bone in Game 4, the Capitals are hoping that Smith-Pelly can bring that depth role that he did so well in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

A native of Scarborough, Ontario, Smith-Pelly spent his Midget hockey days in Toronto before joining the Mississauga St Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League in 2008. Across three seasons with the Majors, Smith-Pelly lined up in 184 games, recording 153 points during that time.

Smith-Pelly also got his first taste of international hockey, representing Team Canada in the 2009 U17 World Hockey Challenge. Playing close to home in Toronto, Smith-Pelly received a gold medal for the tournament.

In the 2010 NHL Entry Level Draft, Smith-Pelly was selected at 42nd overall by the Anaheim Ducks and returned to the OHL in 2011 to prove himself ready for the top level. He did so by recording a career high 66 points in 67 games and was named to the 2011 Memorial Cup Tournament All-Star team.

The 2011-12 season saw Smith-Pelly make the NHL cut, being named to the Anaheim Ducks’ roster out of training camp. In order to gain experience, he played the majority of the following two seasons with then AHL affiliate the Norfolk Admirals whilst recording 5 points in his first 26 games for the Ducks.

During his Rookie season, the Ducks loaned Smith-Pelly to Canada’s Junior squad for the 2012 World Junior Championships. Unfortunately for Smith-Pelly, a broken foot in the opening game of the tournament brought an abrupt end to his second international opportunity. Canada went on to win bronze and Smith-Pelly received a medal as part of the squad.

Smith-Pelly struggled to find his groove in his fist full NHL season in 2014-15, recording just 5 goals and 12 assists in 54 games with the Ducks.

As a result, Smith-Pelly made the move north as he was traded in early 2015 to the Montreal Canadiens. Again, just 6 goals through 46 games with the Canadiens was not doing the dynamic forward justice and Smith-Pelly found himself on the move again in 2016, joining the New Jersey Devils in February 2016.

Playing 71 games with the Devils and recording just 21 points, Smith-Pelly was placed on waivers by the Devils in mid 2017. Soon after, he signed a one year, two way contract worth $650,000 with the Washington Capitals.

Smith-Pelly recaptured his OHL magic and form with the Capitals, playing in 75 regular season games and recording 16 points for Washington in the 2017-18 season. He became a cult hero in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, playing in all 24 games and scoring 8 goals, including pivotal ones in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. Smith-Pelly claimed the Stanley Cup in 2018 as a key member of the Capitals roster.

The 2018-19 season began with plenty of expectation placed on both Smith-Pelly and the Capitals. After the highs of the Stanley Cup Final, Smith-Pelly again slipped to just 8 points in 54 games. As a result he was placed on waivers by the Capitals in February this year. Many Capitals fans were concerned that the hero known affectionately as ‘DSP’ would be snapped up by another NHL team. However, after clearing waivers, Smith-Pelly joined the affiliate team in Hershey, where he has played for the remainder of this season until his recall on Friday.

For Smith-Pelly, he will now be out to prove his form to remain with the Capitals for their playoff run and will look for his role on the fourth line to become more permanent.

Fans Thrilled to Have Devante Smith-Pelly Back