The Wheeling Nailers make it a bakers dozen adding Justin Smith to their off-season signings for 2013 in a release the nailers say they are glad to announce their 13th player signing of the 2013 and go on to say, “Justin is a big kid, who goes to the net hard, protects the puck well, and is strong on the walls,” said Head Coach Clark Donatelli. “He also likes to play the physical game, which will add to the grit level of our team.”
Smith, 25, joins the Nailers after spending the 2012-13 season in Europe, with teams in Germany and Hungary. Justin started the year with EHC Neuwied in Germany, where he appeared in eight games, registering one goal, two assists, and three points. He then moved southeast to Hungary, where he completed the year with Miskolci Jegesmedve JSE, scoring two goals, five assists, and seven points in 28 regular season games, before tallying three goals in four playoff games for the Polar Bears.
“Last year, I played in Europe, so this year, I wanted to give North America a crack,” Smith said. “I am good buddies with Peter Merth, and he told me that Wheeling was a solid place to play, and that it’s a good organization. I have been keeping a close eye on the team this summer, and I am excited about the chance to come in, play with lots of character guys, and I am looking forward to getting camp and playing in the first exhibition game on October 5th.”
Prior to his time across the pond, the Hammonds Plains, NS native attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) for four years, where he majored in Business and Management. While with the Engineers, Smith appeared in 42 games, totaling one goal, three assists, four points, and 49 penalty minutes. Justin also spent one season with the BCHL’s Langley Chiefs in 2007-08, recording 13 goals, 10 assists, 23 points, and 32 penalty minutes.
“I pride myself on coming in each day with a positive attitude,” said Smith. “On the ice, I work hard, play physical, and get pucks to the net.”