Red Wings prospects Givani Smith and Jordan Sambrook are having good playoff runs with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, respectively.
The pair will meet up in the OHL’s Western Conference Final this weekend, and ahead of their showdown, MLive’s Ansar Khan spoke with Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff regarding the pair:
Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development, has watched both players during the first two rounds. He said Smith is coming off a “fantastic series” against Sarnia. He scored twice in the deciding game and has seven goals and 12 points in 12 playoff games.
“He’s a big, physical guy who’s skating very well right now and producing offense,” Horcoff said. “He’s playing definitely some of his best hockey, really starting to come into his own. For Givani, a lot of it comes from skating, and right now he’s skating fantastic and he’s physical, very heavy body every shift, getting under opponents’ skin. He’s doing a heck of a job.”
Sambrook has no goals and three assists in 11 playoff games. He was traded from Erie to Sault Ste. Marie midway through the season and finished with 10 goals and 29 assists in 67 games.
This is the third year in a row he’s gone past the first round of the playoffs.
“He’s solid defensively, plays all situations, has real good hockey sense,” Horcoff said. “He’s one of those guys that seems to play on winners. He knows how to win. At the junior level at least, he plays both sides of the puck. He’s gotten better as his junior career has gone on.”