Rumor: Devante Smith-Pelly coming back to play in North America.

Smith-Pelly is coming back.


There's nothing official yet, but it does sound like former National Hockey League forward Devante Smith-Pelly is planning a return to play in North America. 

The rumor first broke this morning when Los Angeles Kings insider John Hoven reported that he had begun to hear rumblings that Smith-Pelly was expected to sign a deal with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League. The Reign are the American Hockey League affiliate of the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings organization, and at this time it is unclear if Smith-Pelly will sign a one way or a two way deal, although Hoven does report that he expects this to be an AHL only contract.

Smith-Pelly last played in the NHL during the 2018 - 2019 season when he made 54 appearances for the Washington Capitals, recording 4 goals and 4 assists for a combined total of 8 points in that season. He also split part of that season in the AHL where he would collect 6 goals and 8 assists for 14 points over 20 games with the Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals organization.

Since that season Smith-Pelly had traveled overseas after it is believed that he failed to secure an NHL contract, and while over there he played for the league's only Chinese-based team the Kunlun Red Star.  Over his 36 games in the KHL Smith-Pelly had 8 goals and 3 assists for 11 points, and finished the season with 40 penalty minutes and a plus minus rating of -1.

If this is indeed a one way contract it would mean that Smith Pelly would be unavailable to the Kings if they decided to use him. They could however chose to sign him to a two-way deal if he does impress them enough in his return, although he would also have to be sent through waivers at that point which could result in him being claimed by a rival team. 

For now we will assume that, as Hoven has suggested, the Kings intend to use him exclusively at the AHL level, which makes sense considering he has played some of his best hockey there over the last few seasons.