The 19-year-old was drafted and played for the OHL’s Barrie Colts last season, scoring 10 goals and adding nine assists in 55 games. Smith was expected to return to the Colts this season, the Cubs said, but he decided in early August to continue his education and junior hockey career in his hometown of Sudbury.
“We are absolutely ecstatic to have Oliver return to the NOJHL this season,” said Cubs Managing Director Blaine Smith. “Oliver played for us three seasons ago as a 16-year-old and he was instrumental in leading our Rayside Balfour Canadians to a West Division championship.”
He said when Smith’s agent contacted the Cubs last month, the team couldn’t be happier with the offer.
“We were overwhelmed to know that Oliver had made his own decision to play for the Cubs and wants to do his best to help us win a championship for our franchise and Greater Sudbury hockey fans,” Smith said.
For his part, Smith said he is excited to be returning home.
“I’m really excited to play hockey for the Cubs in my hometown,” he said. “I love being at home in Sudbury surrounded by family and friends. This opportunity is giving me a chance to pursue a post-secondary education while still being able to play hockey at a high level. I’m grateful for the opportunity to do both.”
Smith said he is also looking forward to working with Darryl Moxam, the Cubs’ head coach.
“I am also thrilled to have Coach Moxam behind the bench. He has lots of experience and knows what it takes to win a championship.”
Smith and the Cubs opened the 2022-2023 NOJHL season on Sept. 8 (Thursday) against the Powassan Voodoos at the Countryside Arena. The Cubs are back at it tonight when they host the Hearst Lumberjacks for another 7:05 p.m. at Countryside.
Tickets are available at the door for both home games. Family passes are $30 and will get the whole family into the game.