He is on his way to the pro hockey ranks.
Sault Ste. Marie product Jordan Smith will carry on with his ascent up the hockey coaching ladder at the next par of the game. The 36-year-old Smith, who has advanced from head coach in the Superior International Jr. Hockey League and the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to associate coach in the Ontario Hockey League, is inching one step closer to the National Hockey League.
Smith has been hired as an assistant coach by the Springfield Thunderbirds of the American Hockey League. Springfield is the No. 1 farm club of the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. Springfield is coached by former Soo Greyhounds defenceman and head coach Drew Bannister.
As for Smith, he coached the Thunder Bay North Stars of the SIJHL for a season before returning home to become the very successful bench boss with the NOJHL’s Soo Thunderbirds for four years. He then moved up to the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves as their associate coach for one season and left in 2018 for a similar position with the Greyhounds.
As a player, Smith played his entire OHL career on the blue line of the Greyhounds from 2001 to 2005 and was team captain. Later, after being selected in the second round of the 2004 NHL draft by the Anaheim Ducks, Smith would play two seasons in the AHL before his professional career was cut short due to a serious eye injury.
Smith now leaves behind the OHL team that he once played for and coached to return to the pros — this time as a coach.
“I would like to start by thanking my family for their unconditional support in my career. To (president) Tim Lukenda and the entire Greyhounds organization, thank you for providing me the opportunity the last four years to coach a team that means so much to me. And to the staff, thank you for the ongoing support and great work environment,” began Smith.
“To the St. Louis Blues organization, thank you for this opportunity to get back into pro hockey and to take another step in my long term goal of being a coach in the National Hockey League. I am looking forward to getting started and make this step while feeling humbled and forever grateful to have had the chance to coach with the Soo Greyhounds,” Smith concluded.