August 2: The New York Rangers have made the signing of Smith official.
August 1: The Rangers have added some forward depth as PuckPedia reports (Twitter link) that they’ve inked C.J. Smith to a one-year, two-way deal. The contract is worth $750K in the NHL, $275K in the minors, and contains a total guarantee of $300K.
The 27-year-old has 15 career NHL contests under his belt over parts of four seasons where he has two goals and an assist. One of those appearances came in 2021-22 with Carolina. Smith has spent most of his professional career in the minors where he has been much more productive. Last season, he played in 60 games with AHL Chicago, notching 24 goals and 34 assists, good for third on the Wolves in scoring. He also collected nine points in 16 playoff contests to help Chicago win the Calder Cup.
While Smith will undoubtedly see some action with New York in the preseason, it’s safe to say that their intention with this signing is to have him start with AHL Hartford where he’ll help replace Anthony Greco, last year’s leading scorer who remains unsigned and Nick Merkley, who went to the KHL earlier today. The Rangers are now up to 48 NHL contracts with this signing out of the limit of 50 although they have a couple of junior-aged players who will come off the books if they’re sent back to that level.