Maple Leafs sign Vernon’s Jerred Smithson

Vernon's Jerred Smithson is now property of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Vernon's Jerred Smithson

Vernon's Jerred Smithson

A month ago, Vernon’s Jerred Smithson was practising with the Junior A Vernon Vipers and pondering his future in pro hockey.

He is now property of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Smithson, 34, signed Wednesday a contract for the remainder of the 2013-14 NHL season. The Leafs sent forward Trevor Smith to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

Smithson, 34, played seven games with the Marlies this season, posting one goal and eight penalty minutes. The free agent signed with the Marlies on Oct. 16.

Smithson split the 2012-13 season with the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers, registering three goals and three assists for six points with 12 penalty minutes in 45 games. He ranked 13th in the NHL in faceoff percentage (55.4 per cent) last season and has finished as high as sixth overall in that category (57.4 per cent in 2010-11).

The 6-foot-3, 209-pound centreman has played 588 career NHL games over 10 seasons (2002-03 to 2012-13) with Los Angeles, Nashville, Florida and Edmonton, collecting 96 points (39 goals, 57 assists) with 354 minutes in penalties. Smithson was originally signed as a free agent by the Kings on February 18, 2000.