Saturday: The team has officially announced the signing. Per club policy, financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Wednesday: One player that was eligible to file for salary arbitration earlier today but didn’t was Coyotes center Nathan Smith. There’s a good reason for that, however, as Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports reports (Twitter link) that the two sides have agreed on a one-year contract and the paperwork is just getting finalized.
The 24-year-old was a third-round pick by Winnipeg back in 2018 (91st overall) but didn’t sign with the Jets. Instead, he was moved along with the LTIR contract of Bryan Little to Arizona back in March of 2022, quickly turning pro thereafter.
While Smith played ten games down the stretch that season with Arizona, playing time at the top level was harder to come by last season. He got into just four games with the Coyotes, averaging just 7:27 per night of playing time. Things went a bit better for him with AHL Tucson as he got into 64 games down there, tallying a dozen goals along with 15 assists.
A one-year, presumably two-way contract would certainly make sense for both sides to allow Smith to try to show that he’s capable of being a part of Arizona’s plans like it seemed was the case a little over a year ago. Still waiver-exempt for one more season, it’s likely that Smith will have to start with the Roadrunners again and try to play his way into a recall as the season progresses.