Updated: Apr 7, 2020
If you are a Windsor Spitfires fan you may have done what I did when I saw the London Knights use their second-round pick on Colton Smith during last weekend's OHL draft. Within a second I smiled and then flashed an eyebrow raise Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would be proud of.
Picturing the younger Smith in a Knights uniform did not compute at first. You see, his dad is Ottawa Senators head coach DJ Smith who experienced the London-Windsor rivalry for many years as captain and assistant coach of the Spitfires. Colton says he grew up appreciating the rivalry.
"It's fair to say I was a Spitfires fan growing up but I've always respected the Knights in how good of a team they are even despite the rivalry," said Smith. "The amount of players they have developed for the NHL is incredible".
The initial smirk turned into a smile once the reality set in. The kid that was always around the rink and grew up watching Windsor win back-to-back championships is now in the OHL.
This is the same kid that strapped on goalie pads and absorbed shots against Windsor players now suiting up in the NHL.
"I was surprised and excited. I was really proud that moment finally came and with a storied franchise like the London Knights", said the 6'1 196 lbs left-winger, who will be joined in London by his Kanata Lasers linemate Ben Bujold. "It's great that we have the opportunity to play junior hockey together.
Smith and Bujold were two of four Kanata players chosen in the draft.
"Benny was my centreman this year and we became really good friends and hung out outside of hockey too. It's awesome to share this experience with him.
photo courtesy: https://twitter.com/HEOU18AAA/status/1246436094641569792