Freshman phenom: Smith and Admirals prep for playoffs

Freshman phenom: Smith and Admirals prep for playoffs

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Cole Smith started this season as a 26-year-old rookie. He'll end it as one of the Milwaukee Admirals key contributors in the playoffs.

"I would say I'm an older guy so I can kind of relate to some of the older guys a little bit  coming in. I bring that same mentality with me everywhere. Just put my nose down and go to work," said Smith. 

Despite an eight game stretch with the Predators, Smith still racked up 20 goals and 20 assists with the Ads. He's Milwaukee's first rookie with a 20-goal, 20-assist season since Viktor Arvidsson seven years ago.

Arvidsson has been primarily in the NHL ever since.

"He's one of the hardest workers out there. He deserves everything he's got so we're happy for him and we want him to keep scoring for us," said Admirals Captain Cole Schneider. 

The electric rookie brings a different level of athleticism to the ice. He was also a high school football star, drawing interest from Minnesota and North Dakota State.

"It was a really tough decision for me honestly. I feel in hockey you are part of everything, in football maybe it's one side of it. The close-knitness of a hockey locker room. You're with them every day and it's a smaller group than a football team would be. I love coming to the rink, love being with the guys," Smith said. 

After an early injury, Cole considered football again -- briefly. Since then it's been all hockey all the time. Cole says he wouldn't change a thing. Heading into the playoffs neither would the Admirals.

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