Welcome to another WHL Best of the 2010s feature where we profile the best WHL players from the 2009-10 season all the way to the 2019-20 season. Players are judged based on what they did in each division. This means if a player spent time in multiple divisions, their placement will be judged based on what they did separately while in each division. Don’t forget to vote on our Twitter page, @WHLonA51 to help determine which player will be crowned the best WHL player of the 2010s. We hope you enjoy.
Ty Smith was the engine of the Spokane Chiefs from 2016-2020. Not only was he named WHL Defenceman of the Year twice, but he also captured CHL Defenceman of the Year during his career. He would finish his career with 235 points in 240 games winning award in the WHL along with multiple Gold Medals on the international stage.
After a two game stint in 2015-16 where he recorded two assists, Smith made the Chiefs full-time during the 2016-17 season. He would put up 32 points in 66 games for Spokane finishing fifth on the team in points. After Spokane missed the playoffs, he was named the Canada’s U18 team. In five games, he put up one point as Canada finished fifth in the tournament.
2017-18 saw Smith take over the WHL and carry his team into the playoffs with 73 points in 69 games. He one again selected to Canada’s U18 team, this time being named captain. Canada would once again finish fifth in the tournament. He was also named the the Ivan Hlinka Tournament team winning Gold. After the WHL season, he would take home some hardware being named WHL Scholastic Player of the Year and was on the WHL (West) First All-Star Team.
Smith kept getting better and better having his best season in the WHL during the 2018-19 season. In 57 games, he finished with 69 points. He also lead Spokane on a long playoff run with nine points in 15 games. The Cheifs captained was once again part of Team Canada, this time at the World Juniors level finishing seventh overall in the tournament. Once the season ended, he was recognized for his phenominal season and was named WHL Defenceman of the Year, CHL Defenceman of the Year and was included as a WHL (West) First All-Star Team member.
Smith’s last season was cut short due to the pandemic but it was shaping up to be a special one. In 46 games, he finished with 19 goals and 59 points. He was also named to Team Canada’s World Juniors team and helped them win the Gold Medal. After the season ended, he was once again named WHL Defenceman of the Year along with be included in the WHL (West) First All-Star Team.
Few defenceman could take over the game like Smith. He won a major award in three straight seasons and was a threat everytime he stepped on the ice. One of the few easy selections for the WHL Best of the 2010s list, few were as domiante as he was during the 2010s.