Smith signs first pro contract with ECHL Orlando
Orlando, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, announced Thursday morning that they have signed Saginaw native and Spirit alum Mitchell Smith. The 20-year-old defenseman graduated from the OHL in April, wearing the ‘C’ in his final season with his hometown team.
Smith skated in 190 regular-season games with the Spirit from 2019 to 2023, tallying 118 points (37G, 81A). With two assists against the Hamilton Bulldogs on March 18th 2023, Smith surpassed former teammate Pavel Mintyukov as the 3rd-highest scoring defenseman in Spirit history.
In the final chapter of his OHL career, Smith cemented himself as a Saginaw icon. Two points in Flint on the night he was named captain jumpstarted a 14-point run (7G, 7A) in the final ten games of the regular season, helping the Spirit secure home ice in the playoffs. His momentum would carry over into the postseason where he added ten more points (4G, 6A) in 11 games.
The Saginaw native was selected by the Spirit in the fifth round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. In his rookie season, Smith’s performance of seven goals and nine assists for 16 points landed him a spot on the OHL’s Second All-Rookie Team.
After training camp and four preseason games begin September, the Spirit will open the regular season in Kitchener on September 29th. Saginaw’s home opener will come on September 30th as they welcome the Sarnia Sting to the Dow Event Center at 7:05pm.
For media inquiries, contact Dillon Clark at [email protected].