PORCUPINE PLAIN — Tarin Smith of Porcupine Plain has been named as a player to watch ahead of the 2024 NHL Draft by the NHL Central Scouting Service.
Smith, born in 2006, was originally selected 20th-overall in the 2021 WHL Draft. Smith has appeared in 20 career games in the Western Hockey League. He posted three assists in five games at the 2021 WHL Cup with Team Saskatchewan, and collected two points in seven games to claim a silver medal at the 2022 U-17 World Hockey Challenge with Team Canada Red. Smith was given a “W” rating by the NHL Central Scouting Service, projecting him as a 6th- or 7th-round NHL pick.
A total of 63 WHL players were named to the Players to Watch list.
Smith is currently playing for the Western Hockey League's Everett Silvertips. The team is based in Everett, Washington. Smith told SASKTODAY.ca that he started playing when he was just three years old with the Porcupine Plain Blues. The Smith family is familiar with the rink, asTarin’s father Kirk played junior and senior hockey. His younger sister Brynlee also plays on the Northeast Aces U18AA team.
Smith played in Porcupine Plain from the ages of three to nine years old. Smith remembers winning the Novice league championship which was quite a feat at the time, with Porcupine needing to bring up younger players just to make a team of 10 that year.
Smith played for the Northeast Wolfpack under 11AA and the Tisdale Ramblers U13AA team. The Ramblers won provincials in his first year. Smith moved onto the Northeast U15AA. His second year was cut short due to COVID. He then went on to play for the U18AAA at 15 years old and then moved to Saskatoon to play for the Saskatoon Blazers.
“The same year I also made the Sask first team and we went to the WHL cup in Red Deer and we won bronze. I was drafted that same season in December by the Everett Silvertips 20th overall.”
“I got the call up that same month to play with them in Prince George. My first WHL game was a lifetime goal of mine.”
Smith made the second all star team for the U18AA league and was awarded blazers most valuable defenseman. He started his career with Everett Silvertips at 16. He also made the U17 team Canada red team and went to Langley BC and won silver at U17 Worlds.
He has played 13 games this season with the Silvertips and has three goals and three assists at the time the article was published. The Silvertips have a current record of eight wins, five losses and one tie this season.
Smith said his biggest win would be winning provincials in peewee with the Tisdale Ramblers. Smith has had some setbacks with his first WHL first season was cut short due to shoulder injury that required surgery with only eight games played.
“I was able to come home to recover but spent many hours doing physio and keeping in shape to be ready to roll for this year.”
Smith saif he continues to work hard with this being his NHL draft year. His main goal is to get drafted.
“Something I've dreamt of since I first started playing hockey,” he said.
Smith credits his parents for putting in countless hours driving me all the way to Tisdale, Melfort, and Nipawin multiple times a week just for practice.
“My dad would build me an outdoor rink most winters or drive me into town to use the ice.”
Smith was super excited to see that he made the watch list.
“Definitely gives me a boost to my confidence and gives me some extra motivation heading into the draft.”