DETROIT – Givani Smith has been recalled from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.
The 21-year-old forward is set to play in his first NHL game Friday night when the Detroit Red Wings face the Buffalo Sabres at Little Caesars Arena.
"Since I was a kid I always dreamed of this moment. Playing in the NHL. Tonight's the night," he said.
The Red Wings selected Smith in the 2nd round of the 2016 NHL Draft. He played 64 games with the Griffins this past season, scoring 6 goals, 7 assists and 86 penalty minutes.
At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, Smith is known as a physical forward. He showed his aggressive play during the preseason, earning him the call-up.
"I think when Givani's been up here he's played well in the exhibitions," said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill.
Blashill said he is looking for Smith to add net-front presence.
"He's a net presence guy. He scores the hard type of goals, brings physicality and times he brings you into the fight a bit. I'm excited to give him a shot up," the coach said.
"Since I was a kid I always dreamed of this moment. Playing in the NHL. Tonight's the night."— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 25, 2019
Hear from Givani Smith after being called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins. pic.twitter.com/iTSVrNvQSj
Glendening, DeKeyser out
Red Wings forward Luke Glendening and defenseman Dan DeKeyser are both expected to miss at least two weeks due to injury.
Forward Justin Abdelkader is considerd day-to-day.